Exports broke all previous records as they rose 29 per cent to $24.83 billion in financial year 2010-11, according to provisional figures released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics.
Imports increased 16 per cent during the year to $40.41 billion and the trade deficit stood at $15.59 billion, one per cent higher than the previous year.
The export target for the year was $21 billion, which was later revised downward to $19 billion after the floods, figures showed. According to Trade Development Authority Chief Executive Tariq Iqbal Puri, these were provisional figures and exports would likely cross $25 billion when data was finalised. “Final figures will be issued in a couple of days,” he said.
He said exports had increased both in terms of value and volume, adding the major contribution came from textiles, which fetched higher prices in the international market.
“Exporters now face the challenge of maintaining this record level,” as regional markets were being targeted, including the extremely important market of China, he said. Puri said the country was also focusing on value addition besides traditional exports and the strategy was expected to yield dividends in the near future.
According to June statistics, exports rose 36 per cent to $2.43 billion while imports increased 20 per cent to $3.86 billion compared to the same month last year.
Experts say exporters will face difficulties in competing in the international market because of the sharp drop in cotton prices. Other challenges they face are power shortages and political instability.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2011.
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