According to some media reports, one of the multinational tobacco companies, namely Phillip Morris Pakistan Ltd (PMPKL) has set a new record for Pakistan’s tobacco sector by exporting around 7.3 million kilograms of tobacco in 2017. Thus an increase of more than 400 percent was made possible by focusing on sustainable tobacco production and cost competitiveness. The destinations included Asia, Europe and Africa. It merits a mention that last year, the Ministry of Commerce had recognised Philip Morris (Pakistan) with the best exporter award and gave recognition of its impressive tobacco exports performance and role in improving the country’s economy.
The company’s tobacco export contributed an estimated $18 million of foreign exchange earnings, helping to mitigate a wider national trade deficit. In view of the above, tobacco crop offers enormous potential for export, but there is a dire need to overcome structure and policy issue prevalent in the sector. Other tobacco companies operating in the country are requested to follow suit and re-double their efforts toward promotion of export of tobacco and its products so as to earn the much-needed foreign exchange for the country. Also, there is a need to improve crop quantity and promote sustainable tobacco production in the country.