ISLAMABAD: The country’s import bill has witnessed decline by 10.3 percent to $4.07 billion in October 2020 as compared with $3.65 billion in the same month of the last year.
Meanwhile, the exports have witnessed an increase of 2.1 percent to $2.06 billion in October 2020 as compared with $2.02 billion in October 2019.
To review the current export trends, a meeting was held on Tuesday, in the Ministry of Commerce, under the Chairmanship of the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood.
The trade deficit shrank by 22.6 percent in October 2020 to $1.587 billion, showing an improvement of $463 million over October 2019.
The advisor was also briefed that during July-October 2020 the exports decreased only marginally by 0.1 percent. The exports during this period stood at $7.54 billion as compared to $7.547 billion during the same period last year.
He was informed that, during July-October 2020, the balance of trade has witnessed a decline of 4.5 percent to $7.424 billion as compared to $7.776 billion last year.
The Advisor expressed his satisfaction at the export trends and praised Pakistan’s exporters who made it possible for bringing the exports to pre-COVID-19 levels despite uncertainty and contraction in Pakistan’s major markets.
He was also briefed on the major export product trends and was informed that during July-October 2020, the export increases were mostly in the value added sectors.
The increases were witnessed in Home Textiles (10.0 percent), Women’s Garments (20.8 percent), Jerseys & pullovers (35.3 percent), Made-up articles of textile (10.4 percent), Stockings & socks (19.2 percent), Cement (10.8 percent), Pharmaceutical products (26.8 percent), Tarpaulins (66.8 percent), and Made-up clothing accessories (245.2 percent) as compared to the same period last year.
He was informed that, as compared to the same period last year, the export decreases during July-October 2020 were seen in mostly the non-value added sectors such as Cotton Fabric (-8.0 percent), Cotton yarn (-40.1 percent), Worn clothing (-63.6 percent), Raw Leather (-38.4 percent), Crude Petroleum (-53.7 percent), and Cotton (-95.7 percent). The Advisor was also briefed on the geographical spread and growth of exports.
He was informed that, as compared to the same period last year, Pakistan’s top five growing markets during July-October 2020 are Indonesia (39.3 percent), Qatar (34.5 percent), Denmark (24.9 percent), S. Korea (22.5 percent) and Afghanistan (15.6 percent).
The Advisor expressed his hope that Pakistan economy will continue on its upward recovery trend and he directed that the officials of Ministry continue to proactively facilitate exporters and businessmen.
He further directed that no efforts should be spared to counter the effect of the second wave of COVID-19 in Pakistan’s major markets.