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Pakistan’s exports cross $2 billion mark for 4th successive month

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Pakistan’s exports have sustained growth and for the first in 8 years, have crossed the $2 billion mark in four consecutive months, revealed Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry, and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood on Monday. There was an eight percent increase from $1.98bn in the corresponding month last year.

Read More: Abdul Razak Dawood: Potato Development Council will help increase exports

Breaking the news on twitter, the PM’s aid said that Pakistan’s exports have maintained the growth trajectory. “Our export for Jan 2021 is up by 8% to $ 2.14 billion, compared to $ 1.98 billion in Jan 2020 according to provisional figures,” he tweeted. He further stated that the exports for Jul-Jan 2020-21 have increased by 5.5% to USD 14.245 billion as compared to USD 13.507 billion during Jul-Jan 2019-20. “Our cumulative exports for seven months of FY 2020-21 are showing a rising trend.”, added Dawood.

The overall rise in exports is mainly steered by double-digit growth in profits from textile and clothing sectors as well surgical instruments, engineering products and value-added leather products.

Adviser to PM Khan commended the exporters for their resolve “despite difficulties created by COVID pandemic, regional export situation & contraction in major markets”. “Exporters please go full speed ahead in exporting your products & in case of any hurdle, inform MOC,” he advised.

Read More: Pakistan’s exports growing faster than India, Bangladesh post-COVID-19 first wave: Bloomberg

Exports in the new fiscal year started on a good note but suffered a rapid decline of 19pc in August, before bouncing back in September, October and November. Earlier, the prime minister had tweeted on the growth in exports in the month of November and December 2020, comparing it to the unsatisfactory performance of Pakistan’s major South Asian counterparts.

The current government is actively playing its role to encourage exports of textile and non-textile products by providing cash subsidies and slashing duty and taxes on raw material imports.

Government’s measures to boost exports

According to statistics released by International Trade Centre’s Trademap.org, Pakistan reported greater imports of textile machinery in 2003 as compared to imports by Vietnam and Bangladesh.  The result of this boost in textile machinery imports could be witnessed in the subsequent years when Pakistan’s exports went back on the right growth trajectory.

In 2019, imports of textile machinery into Pakistan were lower than those into Vietnam and Bangladesh which was a welcome change. However, to enhance their global competitiveness and bolster exports in the long run, Pakistani exporters need to focus on capacity and product upgradation.

Read More: Pakistan’s Exports – Unexpected surge amidst new opportunities

The rapid spread of Covid19 and the strict measures taken by the governments to quell it have had severe consequences for the major world economies and Pakistan was no exception.  A report by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), COVID-19 outbreak had affected the flows of containers from the country to the lowest level of approximately 12,000 in April last year. However, there has been a gradual improvement in the container shipment from the country since then.

PM khan has always acknowledged the critical role of exports in the national economy and is therefore, committed to extend all possible facilitation to the exporters and remove any hurdles that might come in the way of enhancing the country’s exports.  Under the ‘Make in Pakistan’ policy that was introduced by the government to promote export-oriented industrialization in the country, Duty Drawback rates for around eight sectors were revised upwards by the FBR. More than 434,000 claims were disposed of and approximately 7800 exporters have benefited from this initiative. A system of refunds was also streamlined by the current government to resolve liquidity issues of the exporters and industrialists.

Export facilitation measures resulted in an increase in the number of exports Goods Declarations (GDs) from 71,190 in July 2020 to 79,756 in Dec 2020. Though the current upward trend in exports is encouraging, this momentum can only be maintained through increased focus on the products and geographical diversification.

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