Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

Export surge marks 18-month high in Pakistan

Islamabad, 4 January, 2024 (GNP): The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics released promising data indicating a significant surge in merchandise exports, marking the fourth consecutive month of growth and achieving an 18-month high in December.

Export proceeds reached $2.82 billion, exhibiting a robust 22.21% increase compared to the corresponding period last year, reflecting a positive trajectory in export-led industrial growth.

In the first half of FY24, the export of goods increased by 5.17% to $14.98 billion, showcasing a steady upward trend in exports.

This surge signals a potential recovery for the export-oriented sectors, particularly the textile and clothing industries, which have faced challenges in recent times.

Caretaker Commerce Minister Gohar Ejaz expressed optimism, citing December’s export performance at $2.8 billion, albeit slightly below the potential target of $3 billion per month.

He emphasized the government’s commitment to ramp up efforts to bolster export-led development, setting a goal of achieving $8 billion per month through a revamped policy framework under the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

Commerce minister Gohar highlighted the Commerce Ministry’s dedication to enhancing Pakistan’s export potential and fostering an enabling environment for sustainable economic growth.

The recent surge in export value primarily stemmed from semi-finished goods in the textile sector, while value-added garment exports faced challenges. Notably, in the non-textile sector, exports of food goods, particularly rice and beef, have experienced remarkable growth in recent months.

Also ReadInterim foreign minister holds talks with the US ambassador Donald Blome

However, while exports witnessed an upward trajectory, imports declined by 12.25% in December compared to the same period last year, continuing a trend observed in recent months. The import bill fell by 16.28% in the first half of FY24, further contributing to the narrowing trade deficit.

The trade deficit contracted by 34.29% in July-December FY24, reaching $11.14 billion compared to $19.96 billion in the corresponding period last year. December alone saw a significant decrease of 40.13% in the trade deficit, down to $1.70 billion from $2.84 billion in December of the previous year.

The government has projected an import target of $58.69 billion for FY24, aiming for an increase of $3.4 billion or 8.14% from the previous fiscal year.

The Commerce Ministry is expected to announce a strategic framework soon, focusing on regional competitive energy pricing, working capital support, expedited refund payments, expanded market access, and product diversification to further augment export growth.