Exports increased by 25 percent to $15,127 million in the first half (July–December) of the fiscal year 2021-22 compared to $12,110 million in the corresponding period of 2020-21, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
Exports stood at $2,765 million in December 2021 compared to $2,901 million in November 2021, down 4.69%, but up 16.86% as against $2,366 million in December 2020, WealthPK reported on Tuesday.
The main export commodities in December 2021 were knitwear ($442.58 million), ready-made garments ($348.63 million), bed wear ($254.92 million), rice others ($192 million), cotton cloth ($190 million), cotton yarn ($107 million), towels ($95.7 million), fruits ($70.2 million), made-up articles (Excl. towels bedwear) ($69.6 million) and fish fish preparations ($51.3 million).
Compared to December 2020, exports of fish and fish preparations surged by 97.25%, knitwear 42.37%, ready-made garments 34.75%, bed wear 9.57%, rice others 5.34%, cotton cloth 29.31%, cotton yarn 22.59%, towels 26.95%, and made-up articles (Excl. towels bedwear) 6.34%.
Abdul Razak Dawood, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce and Investment, who convened a consultative meeting to review trade trends recently, said that exports of fish and fish products, plastics, cement, fruits and vegetables, petroleum products, natural steatite, and other materials had increased.
In terms of market diversification, there was an increase in exports to Bangladesh, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, South Korea, etc.
He added that Pakistan’s exports to the United States, China, the Netherlands, and Spain increased in December 2021, while shipments to the United Kingdom, Germany, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the Russian Federation, Indonesia, and the Czech Republic decreased.
On the other hand, exports of fruits and vegetables, surgical instruments, electrical and electronic equipment, tractors, pearls, and precious stones declined in December 2021 compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.
On the other hand, imports totaled $40,649 million during July–December 2021 against $24,454 million during the corresponding period of 2020, up 66.23%.
On a monthly basis, imports in December 2021 were $7,666 million compared to $7,899 million in November 2021, down 2.95%, but up 53.75% compared to $4,986 million in December 2021, WealthPK reported.
The main imported commodities in December 2021 were medicinal products ($981.3 million), petroleum products ($905.89 million), liquified natural gas ($485.3 million), crude petroleum ($356.3 million), palm oil ($318.5 million), iron steel ($281 million), plastic materials ($265 million), iron steel scrap ($253 million), mobile phone ($235.3 million) and electrical machinery apparatus ($231 million).
Although Pakistan’s exports are growing, more efforts are needed to increase exports while simultaneously cutting imports. The government must encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, which not only makes it easier for people to get self-employed, but also produces low-cost goods to boost exports.
In a nutshell, Pakistan’s economic growth is reliant on foreign exchange earnings from exports. The government must make it a priority to lower the trade imbalance by developing effective export-boosting policies. Pakistan has already done a wonderful job for foreign investors by improving the business environment and the trade imbalance will be reduced sooner or later.