Pakistan’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Abdul Razzak Dawood, has announced that the trade policy for the year 2002-03 has maintained the status quo with regard to the duty on exports of finished leather. The Pakistan Leather Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association’s demand for the imposition of a 20% export duty on finished and semi-finished leather was strongly opposed by the Pakistan Tanners Association.

The export target for all commodities has been fixed to $10.4 billion, increasing the target by $1 billion as against last year’s target. The policy envisages diversification of products and regions through a freight subsidy of 25% for ‘new products’ – for which annual exports has not exceeded $5 million in any one of the past three years.

Similarly, a freight subsidy will be provided for new markets – Latin America, Africa East Europe and Oceania – or for any country where Pakistan’s total exports have averaged less than $10 million over the past three years.

Leather is one of four product groups which has been included in Pakistan’s five main thrust industries.