Issue Brief on “Boosting Pakistan’s Exports: What Needs to Be Done”

Major Exports and Destinations

Official figures from the 2017 Economic Survey of Pakistan, published by the Ministry of Finance show that between July 2016 and March 2017, exports decreased to USD 15.119 billion from the USD 15.597 billion during the same period in 2015-16, but that a positive trend was seen afterwards due to the “government’s continuous support to the export sectors and different initiatives” that caused exports in March 2017 to increase. Overall, Pakistan’s exports had been facing challenges in the last fiscal year, declining by around 3.1% in the initial nine months (till March 2017), at a time when imports continued to increase.[1] However, the seemingly positive outlook suggested by the Economic Survey was perhaps too hasty since later official figures accounting for the first eleven months of the same fiscal year, (i.e. until May 2017) continued to show a decline of 3.1% from the previous year, with exports earning the country USD 18.5 billion, and coupled with rising exports, demonstrating an “alarming” trade deficit of around USD 30 billion.[2]

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