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February 4, 2015

TDAP rejects sponsorship requests from foreign exhibitors


February 4, 2015

TOKYO: The government has refused to sponsor foreign traders who wanted to attend the Pakistan’s biggest trade fair starting from 26th of this month, a move which is likely to incur at least $100 million export loss to the country’s struggling economy, said official sources on Tuesday.
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), which is the organiser of Expo Pakistan (26 Feb to 1st Mar, 2015), rejected the sponsorship applications of around 100 foreign exhibitors, including 10 Japanese, on the ground that they had twice been sponsored.
“The Japanese exhibitors, who was denied of the facilitation, are expected to create hundreds of millions dollars Pakistani mangos market in Japan,” said Dr Hironao Takahashi, honorary investment counselor for Pakistan in Japan.
According to a new government policy, TDAP will bear the traveling and lodging expenses of the foreign applicant who was facilitated only once. Those who have been sponsored twice could attend the event on their own expenses, it said.
The ministry of commerce allocates funds every year to sponsor foreign exhibitors engaged in trade for the four-day Expo Pakistan, which was first held in 2005. At the last fair, local and foreign buyers settles business deals estimated at one billion dollar.
TDAP authorities, as per the new policy, rejected the sponsorship application of Dr Takahashi, who was planning to lead a 10-company delegation to the fair.
An official source said each of these companies annually import $10 to $50 million worth of products. They were strongly recommended by the embassy, he added.
“The decision doesn’t make sense, especially given the facts that Japanese companies are adding to foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan by importing the country’s goods,” said a TDAP official, requesting anonymity. “Pakistan may face a massive loss at Expo Trade and this criterion will tarnish the country’s image among the foreign investors.”
Dr Takahashi

said Pakistan is facing terrorism challenge. It is very difficult to convince investors to visit Pakistan.
“Due to efforts of Pakistan’s commercial counselors, Japanese businessmen agreed to pay visit,” he said. “The new TDAP policy discouraged Japanese businessmen to attend the fair.”
Dr Takahashi said that he would raise the issue before chief executive TDAP SM Munir and Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir.

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