Pakistan’s exports continue to grow, as 3.21% growth was recorded during the first half (July-December) of the current fiscal year.
According to provisional foreign trade data compiled by the Ministry of Commerce, exports stood at $11.540 billion during this period, showing a $359 million (3.21%) increase as compared with $11.181 billion in the corresponding period of 2018-19.
A trade difference of $5.129 billion has been recorded during the period. The government’s battle against the trade deficit is finally bearing fruit, as the trade deficit went down for the sixth month in a row. According to the Ministry of Commerce, the trade deficit of Pakistan decreased by 30.58% to $11.64 billion in the first half of the fiscal year 2019-20 as compared to $16.71 billion in the same period last year.
The increasing exports are contributing to an improvement in the country’s balance of payment position and stabilization of the economy. Whereas the decline in imports has helped bring down the trade deficit of the country.
Imports went down by 17.06% to $23.18 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year as compared to $27.952 billion.
Minister of Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood through his Twitter account tweeted that Pakistan has outperformed several competitor nations, which is just the beginning.
“At a time when the world economy is sluggish, Pakistani exports have featured a 3.21 percent growth, whereas the imports have shown a 17 percent contraction. Pakistan has outperformed several competitor nations and this is just the beginning,” he said.
[1/2] Alhumdulillah let’s start the new year on a positive note, presenting to you the export figures for first half of FY 2019/2020 @ImranKhanPTI @PTIofficial @aliya_hamza @ansukhera @pid_gov pic.twitter.com/rcpPvGtecP
— Abdul Razak Dawood (@razak_dawood) January 5, 2020
The top three export performers for the first half of FY 2019/2020 were Basmati rice, showing a 56% growth, meat 52%, vegetables 41%, fish/ seafood 23%, growth of rice of other varieties 14%, whereas artificial silk/synthetic silk, footballs, leather footwear, all featured a 13% growth.
According to the data available, the products which posted growth in exports during the first half-year were as follows:
The data showed that exports of cotton yarn declined by 1 percent, cotton cloth 3 percent, cement 7 percent, sugar 11 percent, leather tanned 19 percent, tents, canvas & tarpaulin by 20 percent, petroleum crude 24 percent, gloves 25 percent, oilseeds, nuts and kernels 56 percent, petroleum products 72 percent, wheat 88 percent and molasses by 98 percent.
The top declining imports were: CBU motor cars (80 percent), CBU buses, trucks (51 percent), transport parts (47 percent), CKD motor cars (46 percent), fertilizer manufactured (33 percent), iron, and steel (32 percent).
According to trade data, top growing imports were Mobile phone, which showed a growth of 69 percent during the half-year, which was followed by electrical machinery and apparatus by 48 percent, aircraft, ships and boats 47 percent, LPG 34 percent, iron, and steel scrap 5 percent, spices 5 percent, warm clothing 3 percent and rubber crude 2 percent.
It is worth mentioning that the second phase of the China Pakistan Free trade Agreement (CPFTA-II) has initiated from January 1, 2020. Pakistani manufacturers and traders are allowed to export 313 new products on zero duty to the Chinese market under the agreement.
Pakistan was already enjoying zero duty on export of 724 products to China under the first FTA signed between the two countries in 2006, and after the implementation of the second phase of FTA, the number of export goods from Pakistan has been raised to 1047 products to China on zero duty.
The new facility will benefit the textile sector, helping enhance its export to China as textile exports to China will virtually be duty-free.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has also granted a concessionary rate of customs duty or zero percent duty on the import of 6,786 items from China with effect from January 1, 2020.