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Archive for November, 1986

Value for mangoes, not heroin

(This is the FOURTH of a series of weekly articles which will attempt to explore the advantages/disadvantages of Barter/ Countertrade as opposed to the liberal trade policy in vogue in Pakistan).

When Barter becomes sophisticated ie. it ceases to be a bilateral swap but becomes one combining multi-lateral origins and destinations, the generic name is Countertrade. After decades of outright hostility to any form of exchange of goods and commodities, the western countries have taken to Countertrade like fish to water. Nearly every major international bank has now well organised Countertrade Departments. Whereas, the normal capitalist philosophy is that the only exchange for goods and commodities is money (and the communist penchant for hard currency is no less), the present debt crisis has forced reality to make its unwanted appearance.

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Mangoes for barter

(This is the THIRD part of a series of weekly articles which will attempt to explore the advantages/disadvantages of barter/ Countertrade as opposed to the liberal trade policy in vogue in Pakistan). Before taking on specific recommendations under barter and/or Countertrade Arrangements, it would be fitting to examine the existing agreements, both for Barter and […]

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Mangoes for F-16s

(This is the SECOND in a series of weekly articles which will attempt to explore the advantages/disadvantages of barter/ Countertrade as opposed to the liberal trade policy in vogue in Pakistan).

We have discussed how Turkey partly paid for its F-16s in the form of tomatoes. Before being reviled and derided for giving simplistic solutions to complex problems further complicated by availability, let me state here that the various circumstances may be different, USA and General Dynamic may not like to exchange our mangoes or anything else that we can sell, for their F-16s, which we do need, irrespective of the fact that we may not be able to sell our mangoes for F-16s.

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No more mangoes!

(This is the first in a series of weekly articles which will attempt to explore the advantages/disadvantages of barter /Countertrade as opposed to the liberal trade policy in vogue in Pakistan)

Barter and Countertrade have been in the news recently in Pakistan and the world over. Before money was invented as a means of settling transaction, barter was the only means of trade, whether it be among individuals, associations or countries. As trade expanded and money became an important catalyst of business, barter faded in importance, but never really ceased.
In layman’s term, what is trade? The purchase and sale of commodities, goods and services is called trade. Commercial transactions are labelled as trade. Whereas the exact meaning of trade would imply an exchange of goods, commodities and services, in balanced proportions, in actual fact trade has become imbalanced in favour of the industrialised world.

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