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Madagascar seeks to import 250,000 metric tonnes rice
Monday, August-23-2004

KARACHI, Aug 23: Madagascarís Minister for Industry and Trade Oliver Andrianarison Sahbisoa said on Saturday that his country urgently needed 250,000 metric tonnes of rice.

He was speaking at a luncheon meeting with Pakistani exporters arranged by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). Vice Chairman EPB Abid Javed Akbar presided over the meeting, which was attended by leading exporters of rice, garments, fresh fruits and wheat flour.

Sahbisoa said he would request Pakistanís government to help his country in overcoming food crisis as well as provide economic support.

"I will request Pakistanís government to provide rice to my country on urgent basis at an affordable price," he added.

The minister said he would also propose Pakistan to sign a new framework of bilateral relationship with Madagascar to promote economic and trade relations.

"We want to build up relations with Pakistan on a long-term basis and promote bilateral trade," Sahbisoa said.

He said stability has returned to his country and economic activities were increasing. He invited Pakistani entrepreneurs to capitalise on the access available to Madagascar into the US and European Union markets. Speaking on the occasion, rice exporters including Vice Chairman REAP Anwar Mianoor and Akbarali Hashwani said that they were ready to provide rice to Madagascar at competitive prices.

However, they said that freight rates were rising exorbitantly and this will increase the cost of shipment. They urged Sahbisoa to resolve this matter. The minister was of the opinion that joint ventures in various fields including textiles and food items can help in promoting trade and investment between Pakistan and his country.

Courtesy The News International, Pakistan

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