A 15-member delegation of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) is visiting Sri Lanka to promote and market Pakistani rice, according to a statement.
The delegation held a meeting with Muhammad Rizwan Hameem, Chairman, Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE), which is the state body responsible for the procurement of rice from various origins.
CWE, under the purview of Ministry of Industry and Commerce issued tenders in October to procure 500,000 metric tons of rice.
Leader of the Pakistani delegation, Acting chairman of REAP Rafique Suleman held a discussion with CWE chairman for the possibilities to increase rice imports from Pakistan.
Suleman also held discussion with the Sri Lankan government officials to reduce heavy import duty imposed on Pakistani long grain rice.
According to the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen and his officials, domestic Lankan rice market has faced supply pressures as three consecutive harvesting seasons (2016 & 2016/’17) failed to produce usual paddy volumes resulting in a 50 percent fall in domestic rice supply this year, thereby necessitating imports to the country to sustain the market.