Poultry export to UAE in ''red zone'' for 10 years

05.12.2016

Poultry export to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been in ''red zone'' for last 10 years due to apathy of the commerce ministry and Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi, well-informed sources told Business Recorder. The UAE had imposed a ban on the import of poultry in 2006 after avian influenza (bird flu) broke out in Pakistan. However, Pakistan had been declared disease-free in 2008, which was also certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Pakistan Poultry Association has been holding meetings with the top brass of the commerce ministry and the ministry of national food security and research for the last eight years but progress on lifting of ban by the UAE is zero. Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) representatives held a meeting with Joint Secretary Commerce, Waqar Ali Shah on November 24, 2016 and briefed him about the background of the issue with a proposal of a delegation visit to the UAE.

The association informed the commerce ministry that ban had been imposed by the UAE on poultry imports from Pakistan since 2008 without any basis. The association members have time and again provided all necessary certifications related to the disease-free poultry products in Pakistan.

In this regard, Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi has extended some assistance through correspondence with the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water. The PPA has provided required clarification and submitted prescribed papers to be forwarded by the Mission to relevant quarters. However, there is no positive move on lifting of sanctions by the authorities concerned.

The association has come to the conclusion that strong lobbies in UAE are working against Pakistan and hurting its economic interest by not letting export of poultry products enter the UAE market. The presence of Indians in UAE organisations, particularly, creates hurdles in persuading the authorities that poultry exports from Pakistan are free of the disease.

The PPA representatives pointed out that on their request, the ministry of commerce had earlier heard their viewpoint in a meeting. The ministry assured that the matter would be taken up with UAE authorities for removal of ban. The issue, however, remained unaddressed and no response has been communicated to them on any development. The PPA members have been actively pursuing the matter at their own but the attempts made so far have not yet yielded any result.

The association is of the view that visit of an official delegation led by the Commerce Minister or any other high ranking official from Commerce Ministry or Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) will provide an opportunity for exporters to explain their position to the UAE authorities.

The Association had also met the Commerce Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan and apprised him of the reasons of ban on export of poultry from Pakistan. When contacted, one of the representatives of PPA expressed surprise on the information of commerce ministry''s officials who are still seeking "clear-cut reasons" of ban on export of poultry to the Middle East, especially UAE.

"We have written thousands of letters to the concerned ministries and the embassy during the last ten years. If we sell those letters, the price of paper waste will not be less than Rs 30, 000," he added. In reply to another question, he said that poultry from India has been banned three times since 2006 due to bird flu but the ban was lifted with the efforts of Indian government. On the other hand successive Pakistani governments didn''t pay heed to get the ban lifted by the Middle East.


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