Exports Grew 5.8% in July 2020: Razak Dawood

Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, while sharing the trade data for July 2020, said that Pakistan’s exports had increased by 5.8% in July, as compared to the same month of last year.

Sharing the stats on twitter, the Adviser marked it as a great achievement considering the last four months. Since March 2020 Pakistan was witnessing a decline in exports due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In terms of dollars, the country’s exports increased from $1.88 billion in July 2019 to $1.99 billion in July 2020, the adviser said through twitter.

“In spite of the fact that we still have COVID related smart lockdowns, our export-led ‘Make in Pakistan’ is moving forward. I wish to congratulate all our exporters on this remarkable achievement and hope this trend will continue to accelerate,” said the Adviser.

A.A.H Soomro, managing director at Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Securities told ProPakistani,

The export growth is a good omen despite contracting global economy. It could be pent up demand but we can get competitiveness as other economies are still locked down, our currency has fallen & energy costs have come down after government approved cheaper energy prices for a year. This is the only way out for sustainable economic growth.

This growth was recorded after a decline in exports for the last four months, since March 2020, when there was a drop of 8% compared to the same period last year. This declined widened in April 2020, with a drop of 54% in exports, which improved but remained at 35% in May 2020, improving further to only a 6% fall in exports in June 2020, as compared to the same period last year.

Pakistan’s imports from other countries also reduced by 4.20% to $3.54 billion during the first month of the new fiscal year i.e. July 20 FY20-21 as compared to $3.69 billion in July 2019.

During the first month of the fiscal year 2020-21, the country’s trade deficit decreased by 14.70% from $1.80 billion to $1.54 billion. The decrease in trade deficit can largely be attributed to a fall in imports, which recorded a decline of 4.20% during July 2020.

The strategies for product and geographical diversification were also reviewed in the meeting, in the context of the recent trade statistics. One of the major sectors which showed good progress is the Food Processing sector where the growth of over 300% was observed in July 2020. Similar growth was witnessed in Made-Ups and Clothing Accessories sectors.

In addition, Fish and Fish Products sector recorded a healthy growth of 50%, while Home Textiles sector, which was declining in the previous months, is now back up with 24% growth.

In terms of exports, a major decline is witnessed in rice and cement, which fell down to 24% and 12% respectively in July 2020, as compared to the same period last year. There is also a decline in the export of raw leather and cotton yarn, which is a clear indication that the Government’s policy to pursue value-added exports is showing results.

On the import side, a decline of 4.2%, in dollar value terms, was recorded in July 2020, as compared to July 2019.

On the geographical diversification, not much progress has been shown in July 2020 as the exports still seem to be heavily dependent on traditional export markets.

Talking in the meeting, Abdul Razak Dawood appreciated the exporters as well as the Government departments for coordinating their efforts in the testing times during the ongoing pandemic. He added that this achievement is particularly noteworthy because of the fact that a decline was being observed until the last month and a turnaround of around 12% points has been achieved in just one month.

Dawood underlined that the Ministry of Commerce will be evaluating its geographical diversification in order to re-align the focus towards new opportunities. He also advised the Ministry officers to extend all kind of necessary support to the exporters in order to achieve the targets, not only in terms of numbers but also with regards to intended policy outcomes.