A meeting was held to review the current export trends in the Ministry of Commerce under the Chairmanship of the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood.
The Advisor was informed that as per the provisional trade data for the month of October 2020, the exports have shown an increase of 2.1 percent and they stood at $2.066 billion as compared to $2.024 billion in October 2019.
He was also informed that on the import side, during the same period, there has been a decline of 10.3 percent and imports have decreased from $4,074 million to $3,653 million. The trade deficit shrunk 22.6 percent in October 2020, and came down to $1,587 million, showing an improvement of $463 million over October 2019.
He was also briefed that during July-October 2020, the exports decreased only marginally by 0.1 percent. The exports during this period stood at $7.540 billion as compared to $7.547 billion during the same period last year. He was informed that during July-October 2020, the balance of trade has witnessed a decline of 4.5 percent to $7.424 billion as compared to $7.776 billion last year.
The Advisor expressed his satisfaction at the export trends and praised Pakistan’s exporters who made it possible for bringing the exports to pre-COVID-19 levels despite uncertainty in Pakistan’s major markets.
He was also briefed on the major export product trends and was informed that during July-October 2020, the export increases were mostly in the value-added sectors. The increases were witnessed in home textiles (10.0 percent), women’s garments (20.8 percent), jerseys & pullovers (35.3 percent), made-up articles of textile (10.4 percent), stockings & socks (19.2 percent), cement (10.8 percent), pharmaceutical products (26.8 percent), tarpaulins (66.8 percent), and made-up clothing accessories (245.2 percent) as compared to the same period last year.
He was informed that as compared to the same period last year, the export decreases during July-October 2020 were seen in mostly the non-value-added sectors such as cotton fabric (8.0 percent), cotton yarn (40.1 percent), worn clothing (63.6 percent), raw leather (38.4 percent), crude petroleum (53.7 percent), and cotton (95.7 percent).
The Advisor was also briefed on the geographical spread and growth of exports. He was informed that, as compared to the same period last year, Pakistan’s top five growing markets during July-October 2020 are Indonesia (39.3 percent), Qatar (34.5 percent), Denmark (24.9 percent), S. Korea (22.5 percent) and Afghanistan (15.6 percent).
The Advisor expressed his hope that Pakistan’s economy will continue on its upward recovery trend and he directed that the officials of the Ministry continue to proactively facilitate exporters and businessmen. He further directed that no efforts should be spared to counter the effect of the second wave of COVID-19 in Pakistan’s major markets.
Pakistan Telecommunication & IT Services exports have grown by 41 percent to $444 million as compared to $315 million in the corresponding period in the last fiscal year, said Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment.
Dawood took to Twitter and stated:
I am glad to note that our exports of Telecommunication & IT Services have done very well during the period Jul-Sep of this Financial Year (FY). The exports have grown by 41 percent to USD 444 million as compared to USD 315 million in the corresponding period in the last FY. This has been made possible by excellent entrepreneurship of our IT professional. I urge them to market their services aggressively and if they face hurdles, they should inform the MOC so that these can be resolved.
However, Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Amin ul Haque quoted slightly different figures. He said that the Information Telecommunication (IT) and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) export remittances comprising computer services and call center services surged to $379.251 million at a growth rate of 43.55 percent during the first quarter (July-September) of the fiscal year 2020-21 compared to $264.187 million during the same period of 2019-20.