February 08, 2013 GHULAM ABBAS
Pakistani fruit firms and organisations exhibiting fresh fruits and vegetables in ‘Fruit Logistica 2013’, the most important business and communication arena of the international fresh produce trade being held here in Germany, have received an estimated import orders worth 2.5 million euro during two days of the show.
According to the country’s leading exporters response of the mega event was very encouraging that despite the lack of much innovation, presentation and competitive marketing tools, Pakistani products were being liked and accepted by the visitors, buyers gathered from across the globe.
According to representatives of Pakistani firms including Sheikh International, Durrani Associates, Zulfiqar & Co, FA international, Seven Star International, KP Enterprises, Roshan enterprises, Iftikhar Ahmed & Co, Jahanzeb Muhmand &co, Nazir and Sons and others, they have stuck deals with world renowned companies for export of Kinnow, Mango, Potato, Bair, other vegetables and dry fruits.
Shehzad Sheikh of Sheikh Enterprise claimed that good business deals and commitments have been made with various firms of Scotland, England and Germany. Business relations with a Berlin based firm has been restored after a long time, he said. Representative of Durrani Associates said that around $2 million worth import deal has been made with some eastern European countries for export of processed mango this year.
According to Fawad of Eftikhar Ahmed and Co, successful meetings have been held with leading firms from Ukraine, Russia, Bangladesh, Jordan, United Kingdom and others. A couple of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were also being signed with some European firms.
Good responses from French, Thai and Turkish companies have been received in two days of the mega show, said representatives of Imtiaz Enterprise. According to Jahanzaib Khan of Jahanzeb Muhmand and co, his company has received better response this year from Bahrain, Kuwait Dubai and London-based companies.
Talking to Business Recorder, Dean Hayden, representative of a London-based firm ‘International Produce’ working with US-based firm ASDA, said that his company had already imported thousands of tonnes mango from Pakistan last year. ‘We were not meeting the demand of mango especially in the holy month Ramazan as Pakistani and Indians in the United Kingdom liked the fruit,” he said adding that each mango was being sold in separate boxes with good display and presentation.
“With over 60 big stores in Europe, we need around 6000 boxes daily. We are planning to visit Pakistan and inspect facilities there for further imports of the fruit,” he said. Amir Hautemann, head of product management and sales of Total Produce of Netherlands, which imports Kinnow from Pakistan, told Business Recorder that the 12.5 percent duty on imports of the fruit in Europe was the hurdle in increasing the volume of imports despite an increasing demand of the fresh fruit.
According to Waheed Ahmed, Chairman Pakistan Fruit and Vegetables Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) the members of the association participating in the event and other organisations have collectively received estimated export orders worth 2.5 million euros during the first two days of the event. Though the final outcome of the show in Berlin could be examined by the end of the show, the response from buyers was encouraging. He stated that a couple of MoUs have also been signed with some foreign companies. Some new markets were likely to be tapped this year as firms from new countries have shown their interest in Pakistani mangoes, Kinnows and Potatoes.
“More focused work and effort is needed on the part of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC) to improve the presentation and innovation of the country’s stalls and pavilions,” he said.
The lack of competitive presentation, display and marketing observed in the show were the key factors of deficiencies in Pakistani products as countries with limited varieties and quantity of agricultural products were also prominent in the exhibition just because of the display and decoration. Compact duration, focused appeal to the targeted groups and maximum effectiveness were the key features of prominent companies in the international event.
Earlier on Wednesday evening, Abdul Basit, Pakistani Ambassador in Berlin also visited Pakistani pavilion and stalls. Talking to Business Recorder, he said that the participation of large number of Pakistani firms, exhibitors and business delegation in the fruit show was very encouraging.
“Opportunities are here to tap more lucrative international markets as over 100 countries are participating in the mega fair,” he said. He also welcomed the German Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumers Protection; Ms Ilse Aigner at Pakistani Pavilion set up with the help of TDAP.
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