KARACHI: Locally assembled Chinese bikes failed to find a foothold in Afghanistan, sources said on Friday, mainly due to opening of new plants and a discontinuation of duty drawback facility.
Chinese bikes assembled in Pakistan are seen in Kandahar but have been unable to grab a significant share of Afghanistan’s bike market since there emerged a huge demand for used bikes.
Meanwhile, a leading Japanese bike assembler in Pakistan was able to export a viable volume to Afghanistan, but said its company had also been facing problems over the previous few months due to discontinuation of duty drawback facility, as Afghanistan Customs had stopped issuing original receipts of goods exported.
“This is hampering exports… the reason given is the change in procedures at Afghanistan Customs as they have now computerised checposts at Torkhum as well as in Chaman”, a senior executive told Dawn.
Its exports to Afghanistan totaled 13,000 units in 2011-12 and over 5,500 units in 2009-10. However in the first three months of 2012-13 fiscal year, it has only exported 1,000 units.
The assembler voiced his concern and said the massive decrease in exports needs to be curtailed as the economy cannot afford to lose such a revenue stream of foreign exchange.
The discontinuation of duty drawback facility has also caused problems for other industries and the Ministry of Commerce and FBR have been approached by companies such as Siemens (Pakistan), Cool Industries, and Sayyed Engineers etc, to resolve the issue.
Chairman Association of Pakistan Motorcycle Assemblers (APMA), Mohammad Sabir Shaikh claimed that exports of most of Chinese bikes from Pakistan have been suspended as Afghanistan is assembling its own bikes locally,
He claimed that Afghanis are assembling bikes after procuring parts and engines from different sources.
Shaikh also said that Chinese bike exports had been suspended for the more than six months as exporters were not getting duty drawback claims from the government.
Exporters used to ship 70cc bike at $360 to $390 per unit and as they didn’t receive any duty drawback, the bike assemblers had to raise the price to $400 to $450 per unit, which Afghanistan deemed expensive, according to Shaikh and added that exports would have been much higher if the refund of duty drawback issue was resolved.
A Chinese bike assembler said he had not exported bike to Afghanistan for the last six months due to cost problems and over reports that Afghanis are assembling bikes.