Exports to US jump 29% to $4b during 10MFY21

PM aide praised exporters for making it possible under difficult global conditions


Usman Hanif May 12, 2021
Pakistan needs to diversify exports by especially focusing on sectors like halal food, IT, pharmaceuticals, etc. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI:

Pakistan’s exports to the United States jumped 29% to $4 billion during July-April 2020-21, announced Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, he said that Pakistan had managed to ship merchandise worth $3.2 billion in the same period of previous fiscal year. “US continues to remain an important market for Pakistan,” he said.

“A substantial increase of $918 million was witnessed and credit goes to our exporters for making it possible under difficult global conditions,” Dawood cherished.

He urged government officials to provide maximum facilitation for the exporters and investors.

Exports to the advanced economies including the US, the UK and 27 countries of the European Union picked up in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020-21 mainly on the back of a surge in textile exports, revealed data from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

READ Exports to Afghanistan rise

Pakistani exporters took advantage of China’s withdrawal from the US apparel market and Covid-fuelled supply disruptions in India.

In contrast, stagnation was witnessed in exports to the UAE and Chinese markets during the same period.

In the South Asian region, exports to Afghanistan remained strong on the back of diversion of rice shipments from the traditional Middle Eastern markets to the neighbouring country.

On the other hand, lower fabric shipments to Bangladesh led to a drop in overall exports to the country during the same period, the data showed.

“Exports are increasing across the board amid government’s pro-growth policies for traders, particularly those aimed at electricity and gas supplies at subsidised tariffs,” said Arif Habib Limited Head of Research Tahir Abbas in comments to The Express Tribune.

“Improvement on the Covid-19 front in Pakistan compared to regional competitors including India and Bangladesh is also contributing to the growth,” he said.

“Low base effect from February 2020 onwards, when Covid gripped the entire world resulting in lockdowns in major economies, is also inflating this number.”

Trade deficit widened in the first 10 months of current fiscal year 2020-21 on a year-on-year basis, mainly due to a rise in imports.

Pakistan was among a few economies whose exports recovered strongly in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020-21 on a quarter-on-quarter basis.

Relatively better performance of the country in keeping Covid cases at bay compared to regional counterparts led to the easing of lockdowns as soon as the start of fiscal year 2020-21.

This prompted the resumption of industrial and transport activities and as a result wheels of the economy began moving.

As the months progressed, many sectors such as textile, cement and pharmaceutical products rebounded. The improved export performance of these sectors partially offset weaker exports of food commodities, especially rice.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2021.

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