Covid PPE sales seen reviving Pakistan's declining exports

Razak Dawood says rupee’s depreciation, by more than 50% since late 2017, has made country’s shipments competitive


News Desk July 12, 2020
Razak Dawood says exports of masks and other protective gear have increased. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Aided by the rising demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) amid the coronavirus pandemic, the fall in Pakistan's exports are expected to recover soon, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said on Saturday.

In an interview to Bloomberg via telephone, he said that exports of masks and other protective gear have increased and the textile sector was witnessing an increase in orders.

"Pakistan has really moved fast into that area,” Dawood said, referring to PPE. The current year should be a better one than the last, he added.

The country's exports dropped 7% in the year ended in June. However, supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic meant Pakistan secured its first sportswear order from Hugo Boss AG, according to Ijaz Akhtar Khokhar, chief coordinator at Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Pakistan plans to give tax incentives to any global brand that opens an office in the country, said trade adviser.

'Rupee depreciation made country’s shipments competitive'

The PM's aide said that the rupee’s depreciation — by more than 50% since late 2017 — has made the country’s shipments competitive globally.

Earlier, Dawood had said that exports of microwave ovens from Pakistan have been confirmed for the first time. "With support from the government, other engineering products will soon join the list of exportable products," he added.

Meanwhile, DG Khan Cement Ltd. had sent clinker to new markets such as China and the Philippines. The cement maker has another order from the Philippines for supply of 20,000 tons as well as making more shipments to China, according to CFO Inayatullah Niazi.

On Sunday, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry had said that Pakistan will have its own big medical and electromagnetic industry in the next three years.

“And I have no doubts that the United States will be our major client,” he said in a tweet.

The federal minister said, “We are already exporting sanitizers and PPEs to the United States”.

The story was originally published in Bloomberg.


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