Pakistan’s Exports to Neighbors Grew 35% YoY in Q1

Prime Minister’s Advisor on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood, said Pakistan’s exports to China, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and the Central Asian Republics grew by 35 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

Dawood tweeted that Pakistan’s exports to China, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and the Central Asian Republics expanded to $938 million in the first three months of the fiscal year (FY) 2021-2022 compared to $694 million in the same quarter last year.

“MoC’s focus on Regional Connectivity to increase trade with our neighbours is beginning to show results,” he said.

He added, “I encourage our exporters to aggressively market their products in the regional markets to increase their exports.”

The Ministry of Commerce has led initiatives to promote Pakistan’s trade ties with regional partners. For example, the National Logistics Cell’s Transports Internationaux Routiers program aims to strengthen trade connectivity with Central Asian countries. Two weeks ago, the first trucks under the program reached their destinations in Turkey and Azerbaijan.

The program allows cargo to cross borders and move along trade routes with reduced procedural barriers. It also helps traders cut down on shipment and delivery time.

Under the program, high-value goods are transported in containers that are sealed in legal procedures such as customs. Once the containers are sealed, they cannot be checked during their route and are only to be opened at their final destinations. This prevents delays and speeds up transportation.

The TIR admissions initiative and other similar programs are expected to boost exports and trade via smoother and faster cargo transportation. It is initially targeted at Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan but is designed to be extended to other Central Asian countries.

Pakistan’s trade deficit more than doubled year-over-year to $11.664 billion in the first quarter of FY 2021-2022. Imports surged by 65.08 percent to $18.631 billion, while exports only grew by 27.32 percent to $6.967 billion.