Regional exports show paltry growth of 1.8% – Journal
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports to nine countries in the region registered a paltry growth of 1.818% while imports from the region increased by almost 31% in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year (10MFY21 ) compared to a year ago, the latest data released by the State Bank of Pakistan showed.
The country’s exports to Afghanistan, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Iran, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives amount to a small amount of $ 3.191 billion – just $ 15.26 % of Pakistan’s total world exports of $ 20.906 billion in 10MFY21.
China tops the list of countries in terms of Pakistan’s exports to its neighbors, leaving behind other populous countries India and Bangladesh. Pakistan conducted its border trade with its most distant neighbor, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh and the Maldives by sea only.
In contrast, imports from these countries edged up to $ 10.754 billion during 10MFY21 from $ 7.638 billion in the corresponding period last year, an increase of 30.97%. Due to large imports, Pakistan’s trade deficit with the region widened during the review period.
Pakistani exports to China showed positive growth in July-April 2020-21. The bulk of the share of regional exports, which accounts for 51.4%, is with China, while the rest is for eight countries.
Pakistani exports to China grew 16.22 pc to $ 1.640 billion in 10 MFY21, compared to $ 1.411 billion in 10 MFY20. The increase in export earnings has been noted in the post-Covid period. However, it is now unclear whether the gain is one-time or whether it is the result of the Commerce Ministry’s claims for negotiating preferential market access for local products under the second phase of the agreement. free trade with Beijing.
Contrary to this, imports from China rose 35% to $ 10.312 billion during the period under review from $ 8.211 billion last year. Most of the 95.88% of imports come solely from China, while the remaining imports come from eight other countries.
Pakistani exports to Afghanistan grew by 2.35% to $ 828.727 million during 10 MFY21, compared to $ 809.685 million in the same period of fiscal year 20. Till ago for a few years, Afghanistan was Pakistan’s second largest export destination after the United States.
Imports from Afghanistan grew 27.34% to $ 147.403 million from $ 115.747 million last year. Imports from Afghanistan have seen a visible improvement, especially essential kitchen items including tomatoes, potatoes and onions, as well as fresh and dried fruits.
The country’s exports to India plunged 90.9% to $ 2.252 million this year, from $ 24.992 million in 10MFY20. Imports from India fell 56.5% to $ 153.601 million from $ 353.162 million last year. The government has suspended trade relations with New Delhi. Since the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has only authorized the importation of pharmaceuticals from India.
Pakistani exports to Iran jumped 374.5% to $ 0.261 million in 10MFY21 from $ 0.055 million in 10MFY20. Most trade with Tehran takes place through informal channels in the border areas of Balochistan. No imports were made from Tehran during the period under review.
Exports to Bangladesh fell 17% to $ 497.396 million in 10MFY21, from $ 599.658 million. Imports from Dhaka grew 64.9 percent to $ 68.362 million this year from $ 41.450 million last year.
Likewise, exports to Sri Lanka fell 18.5% to $ 213.794 million in 10 MFY21, from $ 262,482 million the year before. Islamabad signed the very first FTA with Colombo, but trade between the two countries remains far from its true potential. Imports from Sri Lanka grew 14.6 percent to $ 72.081 million this year from $ 62.902 million last year.
During Prime Minister Imran Khan’s last visit to Sri Lanka, the two countries agreed to exploit the available potential of bilateral trade.
In contrast, Pakistani exports to Nepal fell 80.4 percent to $ 3.987 million in 10MFY21, from $ 20.374 million the year before. However, imports grew 140.87% to $ 0.937 million this year from $ 0.389 million last year.
Exports to the Maldives fell 20% to $ 4.945 million from $ 6.195 million. Imports grew 157.89% to $ 0.049 million this year from $ 0.019 million last year.
Export earnings to Bhutan were recorded at $ 0.043 million over 10 MFY21 from $ 0.094 million last year. During the month of March-April, no export products were sent to the Maldives.
Posted in Dawn on May 29, 2021