Sun, 29 Jan 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], January 21 (ANI): Ship agents have warned the Pakistani government that all export cargoes could stop as foreign shipping lines are considering halting their services for Pakistan after banks stopped remitting freight charges to them for lack of dollar availability, the Dawn reported.

In addition to bordering nations, nearly all the international logistics from Pakistan have been catered by sea and any disruption could cause serious issues for Pakistan's international trade, Pakistan Ship's Agents Association (PSAA) chairman Abdul Rauf wrote in a letter to Abdul Rauf, according to Dawn.

"If international trade is stopped, the economic situation will worsen," the Dawn quoted PSAA as saying.

It added that the foreign shipping lines are already considering winding up their services in Pakistan due to reduced cargo volumes.

The Pakistan Ship's Agents Association (PSAA) has warned that the economic situation in the country will turn worse if international trade is stopped, the Dawn reported, adding that the PSAA chairman has written letters to Pakistan's Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Namar, Maritime Affairs Minister Faisal Sabzwari and State Bank of Pakistan Governor Jameel Ahmed.

Abdul Rauf called on all the ministers and departments concerned to ensure continuity in Pakistan's seaborne trade by permitting outward remittance of surplus freight amounts to respective foreign shipping lines forthwith, according to Dawn.

"Due to discontinuation of outward remittance of surplus freight amounts to respective foreign shipping lines, was hampering Pakistan's seaborne trade which is heavily dependent on foreign shipping lines," read the letter as quoted by the Dawn.

Further, according to the news report, the crisis relates to the export cargoes as all the outward trade from Pakistan is container-based, with no liquid or grain exports from Pakistan. The state-owned Pakistan National Shipping Company (PNSC) only handles imports of crude oil and other petroleum fuel.

The annual freight bill of Pakistan is around USD 5 billion and companies from abroad receive the charges in international currencies, the news report said.

Expressing concern over the situation, the agents have said that the shipping sector was suffering due to economic ups and downs, the report said, adding that any further delays in remitting their legitimate dues will affect Pakistan's external trade. (ANI)

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