For the first time ever, Pakistan has received a major export order for cigarettes, worth $50 million.
According to a report by a local media outlet, Pakistani tobacco companies have received an import order of cigarette from gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia. The report stated that local tobacco firms had received an import order earlier but were unable to meet quality standards so the entire stock had to be discarded.
All the standards set by the importers have now been met successfully and we are expecting the export of cigarettes to Middle Eastern countries to start by next month, said a top-ranked source in Pakistan Tobacco Board.
It is a positive development that Pakistan will be exporting the finished product for the first time. We may be able to export cigarettes to other countries once we successfully capture the Gulf market.
According to the report, Pakistan has a market share of around $25 million in the $80 billion trade of tobacco. Pakistan has been exporting tobacco (unfinished) worth $25 million to the Middle East and some European countries, which is almost 30% of the tobacco being produced in the country. The rest of it is used locally.
As per statistics of financial year 2018-19, 108,000 tonnes of tobacco worth $24.4 million was exported to 26 countries which include South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Netherlands, UAE, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, UK, Kuwait, Poland, Australia, USA, Singapore, Canada, Ukraine, Philippines, Bangladesh, Belgium, Afghanistan, Italy, Russia, Yemen, and Bulgaria.