Pak­istani, Chi­nese firms sign food deal at China Im­port Expo

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

A Chi­nese snack com­pany signed a deal with Pak­istan pine nut provider worth 300 mil­lion yuan (US $ 42 mil­lion) dur­ing the sec­ond China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo in Shang­hai as the com­pany fur­thers over­seas ef­forts with op­por­tu­ni­ties brought by the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

With the new move, Halo Foods, Pak­istan's largest pine nut pur­chase and pro­cess­ing firm will con­tinue to of­fer pine nuts to the Chi­nese firm, Be­store fol­low­ing their co­op­er­a­tion for over ten years, ac­cord­ing to the Chi­nese me­dia here on Thurs­day.

Hand-peeled pine nuts is now one of the most ex­pen­sive nut prod­ucts for our com­pany, but both de­mand and out­put has grown rapidly with an an­nual in­crease of 20 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to Yang Yin­fen, CEO and pres­i­dent of Be­store.

"For Halo Foods, such co­op­er­a­tion will help the Pak­istan firm to fur­ther ex­plore the po­ten­tial of the Chi­nese mar­ket," said Shah­baz Sid­dique, fi­nan­cial head of Halo Foods.

"Glob­al­iza­tion has been one of our key strengths. Cur­rently, over 25 per­cent of our raw ma­te­rial comes from over­seas," Yang said. Among over­seas pur­chases, Belt and Road economies in­clud­ing Malaysia and the Philip­pines as well as Tur­key are some of the ma­jor sources.

"We are also con­sid­er­ing and ex­plor­ing some emerg­ing mar­kets, such as the African mar­ket," Yang re­vealed. An ear­lier re­port pointed out that Chi­nese peo­ple con­sume around two tril­lion yuan of snack food ev­ery year fol­low­ing the coun­try's boom­ing in­ter­net wave ac­cel­er­at­ing the growth.

To date, the Wuhan-based com­pany in Hubei prov­ince has adopted 190 types of raw ma­te­ri­als from 32 coun­tries and re­gions. It has de­vel­oped over 1,000 kinds of snacks so far. Over 35 Pak­istani com­pa­nies will par­tic­i­pate and show­case their prod­ucts in­clud­ing top tex­tile, leather and sports goods, sur­gi­cal equip­ment, home fur­nish­ing and other prod­ucts at the 2nd China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo (CIIE) sched­uled to be held in Shang­hai from Novem­ber 5 to 10.

Ad­vi­sor on Com­merce,

Tex­tile, In­dus­try and Pro­duc­tion and In­vest­ment, Ab­dul Razak Da­wood will lead the Pak­istani del­e­ga­tion. Pak­istan's top busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives will at­tend.

It may be men­tioned here that a num­ber of top ex­port-ori­ented Pak­istani com­pa­nies are ex­hibit­ing tex­tile, leather and sports goods, sur­gi­cal equip­ment, home fur­nish­ing and other prod­ucts at their stalls set up at the expo in an ef­fort to en­hance ex­ports to China.

Mean­while, Asian mar­kets mostly fell Thurs­day af­ter in­vestors were spooked by spec­u­la­tion the much-an­tic­i­pated sign­ing of the China-US trade pact could be de­layed. Broad-based op­ti­mism that the eco­nomic su­per­pow­ers would soon com­plete part one of a wider agree­ment has been the ba­sis of a rally in global eq­ui­ties for sev­eral weeks.

But that con­fi­dence was given a slight jolt Wed­nes­day by re­ports that a planned meet­ing be­tween Don­ald Trump and Xi Jin­ping to put pen to pa­per may be put back to De­cem­ber as they iron out some is­sues and try to find a place to hold the cer­e­mony.

A day ear­lier, the Fi­nan­cial Times and Wall Street Jour­nal had said the White House was con­sid­er­ing drop­ping ex­ist­ing tar­iffs on more than $100 bil­lion of im­ports to seal an agree­ment.

While of­fi­cials said the deal is still on track, a seed of doubt was planted in the minds of ner­vous traders, who have wit­nessed sev­eral false dawns in the past. "One could take the view that by not com­mit­ting to meet the orig­i­nal dead­line for sign­ing the so-called phase one agree­ment... it gives more time for a some­what more com­pre­hen­sive agree­ment to be thrashed out -- po­ten­tially in­volv­ing a US com­mit­ment to wind back some ex­ist­ing tar­iffs," said Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank's Ray At­trill.

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