In a media report, ship agents warn the cash-strapped Pakistani government that all export cargoes may be halted as foreign shipping lines are contemplating discontinuing services for the country after banks stopped remitting freight charges to them due to a lack of dollar availability.
Apart from bordering nations, almost all of Pakistan’s international logistics are handled by sea, and the chairman of the Pakistan Ship’s Agents Association (PSAA), Abdul Rauf, warned Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in a letter that any disruption could have a significant impact on the nation’s international trade.
The foreign shipping lines are already thinking about ending their services in Pakistan owing to decreased cargo quantities, the group warned, adding that if the international trade is terminated, the economic situation will get worse.
According to the Dawn newspaper, the PSAA chairman also sent letters to the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Jameel Ahmed, the ministers of commerce, Syed Naveed Namar, and maritime affairs, Faisal Sabzwari.
Rauf asked the concerned ministries and departments to step in and allow the immediate transfer of surplus freight amounts to the appropriate foreign shipping lines in order to maintain the continuity of Pakistan’s seaborne trade.
The shipping industry was already suffering as a result of economic ups and downs, according to ship agents, and any further delays in paying their lawful debts will limit Pakistan’s international trade.
Muhammad Rajpar, a former chairman of the PSAA, told the newspaper that Pakistan was not yet on the verge of an economic collapse and that the government still had time to find a solution to the current issue.
Rajpar stated, “We can always come up with creative solutions to get out of tough circumstances, and one of them is dollar hedging and making installments for the payments to the shipping businesses.