Pakistan’s trade deficit falls by 30pc to $11.64bn in six months

–3.21 per cent growth recorded in country’s exports in first half of ongoing fiscal year

ISLAMABAD: While the figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) are yet to be finalised, the Ministry of Commerce has claimed that the trade deficit of Pakistan had reduced by 30.58 per cent to $11.64 billion in the first half of fiscal year 2019-20.

According to data shared by Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood through his Twitter Account, this was mainly because of a decline in imports and increasing exports of the country.

The export volume reached $11.54 billion, recording an increase of 3.21 per cent from July 2019 to December 2019. During this period, the exports of rice, meat and vegetables increased by 56 per cent, 52 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively.

The export of seafood recorded an increase of 23 per cent, while silk, synthetic textile, football and leather exports grew by 13 per cent each.

The country’s imports dropped by 17 per cent to $23.18 billion and resulted in the shrinking trade deficit by 30.58 per cent.

“At a time when the world economy is sluggish, Pakistani exports have featured a 3.21 per cent growth, whereas the imports have shown a 17 per cent contraction. Pakistan has outperformed several competitor nations and this is just the beginning,” he said.

However, the imports of cellular phones increased by 69 per cent, electrical appliances by 48 per cent and petroleum products and gas by 34 per cent. On the other hand, imports from India decreased by 64 per cent over the past six months.

“Our top export performers for first half of fiscal year 2019/2020 have been basmati rice with 56 per cent growth, meat with 52 per cent growth, vegetables with 41 per cent growth, fish/seafood with 23 per cent growth, rice of other varieties 14 per cent growth, whereas artificial silk/synthetic silk, footballs, leather footwear, all featured a 13 per cent growth,” he said.

As per the data, imports of electronic machinery and aircraft/ships//boats, increased by 48 per cent, and 47 per cent in the first six months of the ongoing fiscal year

In imports category, there was a decline of 124 per cent in CBU motorcars while a 100 per cent decline was observed in the imports of CKD buses and trucks.

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Ghulam Abbas
Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]
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