Pakistan’s fresh produce industry has expressed concern regarding an ongoing strike by goods transporters, urging the government to resolve the issue as quickly as possible to avoid severe damage to the sector, Dawn reports.
Industry leaders on Friday stated that many export consignments did not make their scheduled shipping dates, with strong fears that foreign buyers might cancel orders worth millions of dollars.
The strike has been most damaging to perishable exports, including fresh fruit and vegetables.
Muhammad Ilyas Khan, the secretary general of the All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exports, Importers and Merchants Association, released a statement warning of the implications for the industry.
“Fruit and vegetable exporters cannot afford a single day’s delay in shipment,” he said. “The delay in shipments will not only deteriorate the quality of perishable goods but also earn bad name for the country.”
Khan also appealed to the government to meet with striking transporters to resolve the issue as soon as possible to resume halted export consignments.
Gulzar Feroz, vice president for the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry has said tat the apex trade and industry body is ready and willing to facilitate negotiations between the government and workers.
Some exporters have tried to utilised their own trucks or trailers to transport their shipments, but these were not allowed entry into the port area by striking transporters.