Despite having potential of over 0.2 to 0.3 million tons annually, Pakistan could export just 119,358 tons rice to Malaysia during last fiscal year due to quota restrictions by the Malaysian government.

The exporters have laid emphasis on more export of rice from Pakistan to Malaysia and requested the Malaysian Consul General and Trade Consul to assist them in this respect.

They noted that the balance of trade between Pakistan and Malaysia is tilted in favour of Malaysia for a long time and in order to narrow down the trade deficit, there is dire need for increasing export of non-traditional items as well as the existing items being exported to Malaysia.

The rice exporters invited the attention of the government to focus on the international markets of China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Bahrain for strengthening the rice export trade, which is ultimately beneficial for all the stakeholders, particularly the growers of rice. He added that depressed prices in international rice markets are affecting overall agricultural sectors of all rice exporting countries of the world.

Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) chairman Rafique Suleman also highlighted the trade between Pakistan and Malaysia and said that the trade balance is in the favour of Malaysia, as a huge quantity of palm oil is imported from Malaysia, whereas our exports are negligible. He emphasized that Government of Pakistan must take measures to balance the trade and talks must be held with Malaysian government to discuss the possibilities to export 200,000 Metric Ton of Pakistani rice to Malaysia.

Discussing rice export to Bahrain, he said that Pakistan has exported 27,805 tons of rice worth $26,213,194 during July 2013 to June 2014.

He said that Bahrain is also a high potential market for Pakistani rice and we request government to further improve mutual economic relations which will be beneficial in bilateral trade between the two countries. “There is immense scope for expanding the existing volume of bilateral trade between the two countries which currently stands at $200 million. Currently there are approximately 100,000 Pakistanis living in Bahrain and it was one of the favourite destinations for Pakistanis working abroad and we welcomed the decision of the Bahrain government to award dual nationality to some of them.

Discussing rice export to China, he said that Pakistan has exported 353,675 tons rice worth $128,068,072 during July 2013 to June 2014.

“REAP noticed that China has made several G-2-G deals with other neighboring countries, e.g. the contract with Thailand, MoU with Cambodia. Since the total rice import quota of China is limited, we’ve afraid that the market share of Pakistani rice in China will decline. In order to further strengthen the bilateral rice trade relations, we request Government of Pakistan to arrange similar mechanism, like China done with Thailand and Cambodia, in order to stabilize the rice trade between China and Pakistan. We hope we could export additional 200,000 M/Tons good quality Pakistani rice every year, starting from Year 2015.”