ISLAMABAD, April 19 ): A recent report released by the Pakistan Business Council (PBC) has identified a number of issues that need to be addressed so that Pakistani cattle traders can gain a significant share of the $ 8.2 billion bovine meat market at the front door.
The report provides a sectoral overview of the “increase in biotin meat exports to Pakistan”, livestock trade and meat processing in Pakistan.
It noted that China imported bovine meat worth $8.2 billion in 2019, but despite the geographical proximity and concessions offered by the Chinese government, Pakistan had no share in this huge market.
The report said that Pakistan could not benefit from the Chinese sugar market as it did not have quality and phyto-sanitary standards. It also said that the spread of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in animals was another obstacle for Pakistan to enter the Chinese beef market.
Interestingly, just two weeks ago, China gave the first Pakistani company a license to export heat-driven meat to China. The organic meat company, based in Karachi, obtained the license after installing the latest plant to eradicate the FMD virus in meat through heat. This facility was also installed by Chinese experts.
The report said that the Pakistani government, however, is launching a vaccination program in the Cholistan desert and setting up animal quarantine zones to address the problem of FMD.
Thus, it is expected that Pakistan will move from the Stage 2 countries of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to the Stage 3 countries (in which the areas targeted by FMD are reduced).
In the third phase, the FMD virus is managed through a systematic national official control program. “Once Pakistan achieves Stage 3 status, the opportunity to export beef to major markets like China will open up,” the report said.
Access to the Chinese market will provide a good opportunity for Pakistan to enter the big market in the future. The report said that China has allowed access to the meat of mountain scales in five of the six categories under the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement II (CPFTA-2).
China imposes 13% value-added tax on beef imports. For WTO member countries, the most preferred national duty rate is 25% for most beef and exceptional meat products, up to 12%.
“Pakistan enjoys a significant duty advantage over other competitors, with the exception of fresh carcasses, which have duty-free access to the Chinese market in all other forms,” the report said.
China has high market potential for Pakistan. With rising incomes, consumption of beef in China will continue to increase. Furthermore, due to the outbreak of African swine fever in China, the local production of pork fell, which led to the substitution of beef for beef.
The report said that domestic production of beef in China is unable to sustain the increase in domestic demand, which gives Pakistan an opportunity to expand its market.
It is pertinent to mention here that in March, the Chinese Consul General in Karachi, Libya, invited Pakistani cattle traders to take advantage of the Chinese market.
He assured his full cooperation in this regard and also pointed out the immense opportunities for developed Pakistani exporters under the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement.
The Pakistan Business Council is a business advocacy body that supports 86 local and multinational investors in Pakistan.