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Last Updated:[05-02-2010 00:48:13 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Japanese to Taste Pakistani Mangoes this Season

tradenews An official from the Pakistani Embassy in Tokyo has informed that Japan would likely remove the two decade old ban on country’s mangoes as they had been able to fulfill the required standards for importation to Japan. While speaking to The News Rehman Hamid, Commercial Secretary of the Pakistani Embassy in Japan said the removal of ban would provide Pakistani mangoes unparalleled potential to tap the highly lucrative Japanese market.

Hamid told a mango in Japan costs around two to three US dollars, which means if the ban is lifted Pakistan could earn millions of dollars from the export of the fruit. Japan imposed a ban on Pakistani mangoes after fruit fly virus was detected in them. As per Japan’s food standards fruits infested with fruit fly virus are restricted entry into the country.

Japan is believed to give a nod to Pakistani mangoes after many official negotiations and also after conducting inspections at mango facilities in Pakistan. In August a delegation comprising Japanese government officials and importers visited a Pakistani mango packing facility and vapour heat treatment (VHT) plant.

Last April, Japan’s Trade Minister Tashihiro Nikai had promised to Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari that he would take necessary steps to remove all barriers. He had stated then that Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) would conduct an inspection on Pakistan’s treatment facilities. Subsequently, the Japanese authorities are reported to have satisfied with it, and an official announcement is awaited soon.

In 1996, Japan provided a heat treatment plant to remove fruit fly from mangoes on a request by former Pakistan prime minister late Benazir Bhutto, but it failed to produce desired results. However, both countries jointly re-worked on the issue and are understood to have resolved the same.

Pakistan, world’s third largest mango producer is all set to takeover the Japanese mango market just like it has been successful in other markets including the Middle East, several European countries and the US. Mango exports in 2009 reached a record of 132,000 tonnes as against the target of 124,000 tonnes set by the Pakistan Horticulture Board prior to the season.

By Jose Roy

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