COLOMBO: The Sri Lanka-Pakistan talks last November has resulted in the removal of import trade price slapped by Pakistan on Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF Board) exported from Sri Lanka.
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF Board) is one of the major exporting products to Pakistan from Sri Lanka. It represents nearly 10% of Sri Lanka’s total exports to Pakistan and Sri Lanka is the second largest supplier of MDF to Pakistan after Malaysia as Sri Lankan exporters have been enjoying duty free market access under the Pakistan – Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (PSFTA).
However, Pakistani authorities placed a valuation rule (the minimum value) for all MDF Board imports as “Import Trade Price (ITP)” in order to eliminate under-invoicing. Initially, the valuation rule applied across the board to all countries and later the Pakistani authorities introduced a new valuation rule which discriminates Sri Lanka from other exporting countries.
At the bilateral discussion, during the visit of Federal Minister of Commerce of Pakistan in November 2015, the Commerce Department raised the issue with Pakistan delegation as this hinders Sri Lanka’s exports to Pakistan.
This was further discussed at the recently concluded Commerce Secretary Level Meeting of PSFTA between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
The Ministry and the Commerce Department made interventions to the respective Pakistani authorities for early settlement of this issue due to serious injury to the Sri Lankan MDF manufacturing industry as Pakistan is one of the major buyers of MDF Boards from Sri Lanka besides India.
After considering the appeal made by Sri Lankan authorities, the Pakistan government amended the valuation ruling from January 29,which treat Sri Lankan originating MDF Boards on par with other exporting countries.