A delegation of Chinese traders, chamber members and food processors arrived on Monday in Gilgit to explore prospects of importing cherries from Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
Javed Akhtar, Deputy Director at GB’s Agriculture Department, told Gwadar Pro that on Tuesday, the delegation members held meetings with officials of his department and Pakistan Customs and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to discuss the mechanism to export cherry fruit from GB to China.
On Wednesday, the delegation will visit two cherry processing units established by GB government as well as cherry orchards. The delegation will also examine the phytosanitary and other arrangements made by Pakistan for the export of agricultural goods.
On Thursday, the delegation is expected to sign MoUs with the GB traders involved in cherries’ trade for the export of the fruit to China, Javed said.
Javed further said that cherries earned around Rs1 billion for GB farmers from domestic sale. If the fruit is exported to China, it will give a big boost to the economy of the region. He said that as the cherries have very limited shelf life, both sides will try devising a mechanism to enable export of the fruit to China in as few days as possible.
China allowed market access for fresh cherries from Pakistan during the visit of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to China in November 2022.