Pakistan’s exports up 14.23% in July

Cabinet to discuss summary on trade suspension with India today

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports increased by 14.23pc in July this year as compared to the same month of last year, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. According to the ministry Pakistan’s imports also reduced by 18.39 percent in the month of July. In term of dollars, the country’s exports increased from $1.63 billion in July 2018 to $1.87 billion in July this year, the commerce ministry officials said. The imports from other countries also reduced by 18.39 percent during the month.

During the period under review, an increase in exports was witnessed in various sectors of the economy, including rice (71 pct), readymade garments (17 pct), home textiles (14 pct), plastic goods (34 pct), chemicals (26 pct), mangoes (33 pct) and footwear (24 pct), the ministry said.

Adviser to Prime Minister for Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood in a recent press talk said that China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA), a comprehensive tariff policy, reforms in National Tariff Commission (NTC) and an increase in local exports were the major hallmarks of his ministry in the first year of this government. He said that Afghanistan had offered a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to Pakistan in order to enhance trade between the two countries. He said that both countries were willing to increase the volume of bilateral trade.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Commerce will prepare a summary on suspension of bilateral trade with India on Thursday to present before the federal cabinet citing sources. A meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) on Wednesday decided several steps to respond to India’s illegal annexation of Occupied Kashmir including suspension of bilateral trade with the country.

The Ministry of Commerce will likely to present the summary in the cabinet meeting today (Friday). After approval of the summary by the cabinet a SRO about amendment in the import and export order will be issued. Pakistan’s suspension of trade with India would have great impact on the country as the balance of trade between the two countries favours India. Total volume of bilateral trade presently stands at 2.124 billion dollars, officials said.

Pakistan’s decision to suspend bilateral trade with India is likely to cost New Delhi around $1.891 billion per year. Pakistan has consistently faced a trade deficit with India. Pakistan’s imports from India remained $1.8 billion during the financial year 2018-19, while its exports to India remained a mere $340 million during the same period. The World Bank in a report had earlier estimated that the potential of bilateral trade between the two neighbouring countries was $37 billion per year.

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