Exports beat half-year target

Despite achieving the export target for the first half of current fiscal year 2021-22, Pakistan’s export growth failed to outpace the expansion in imports

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce, exports amounted to $15

125 billion for July-December 2021 against the target of $15 billion

The statement was issued following a consultative meeting chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood to discuss the trade trend in December 2021

The meeting discussed that trade deficit was likely to come down if parliament passed the mini-budget as it would discourage imports following imposition of higher taxes on luxury items

“Import growth is likely to be reduced along with import value with the resumption of International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme,” the statement added

“Reduction in trade deficit in the coming months is imminent due to a stringent ongoing review and the checks put in place by financial support providers

” Talking to The Express Tribune, Arif Habib Limited analyst Sana Tawfik said that imports increased 63% year-on-year during July-December 2021 while exports grew 25%

The trade deficit almost doubled during the six months under review compared to the same period of last year

“Imports are expected to slow down on the back of a forecast decline in international commodity prices,” she said

“Keeping in view the measures taken by the government to incentivise export-oriented sectors, we are optimistic that outward shipments will improve further in the coming months

” She voiced hope that the country would achieve the export target for full fiscal year 2021-22

Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) CEO Mukhtar Ahmad Ali stated that exports were increasing at a slow pace partly due to a significant increase in commodity prices in global markets

Exports had remained suppressed until 2018 because of severe energy shortages and the impact of terrorism on the industry, he recalled

“Following normalisation of energy supply and improvement in law and order situation, exports were expected to jump significantly but it seems that political uncertainty and soaring energy prices have affected investor confidence,” said Ali

“The ongoing gas supply constraints are likely to dent exports

” He added that additional efforts were needed to increase the range, quantity and value of exportable goods and services

Arif Habib Commodities CEO Ahsan Mehanti said that the trade deficit had doubled on a year-on-year basis in July-December 2021, therefore Pakistan’s trade performance was unsatisfactory

However, the export target was met for the half year and the annual target was also likely to be reached due to the expected low impact of Omicron variant of coronavirus on global growth and Pakistan’s exports, he said

Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2022

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Date:05-Jan-2022 Reference:View Original Link