Pakistan’s exports increase by 7.2% amid COVID-19 pandemic


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports crossed the $2 billion mark for a second consecutive month in November, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood announced in a tweet Tuesday.

The commerce adviser said exports have increased by 7.2% year-on-year in November, according to the provisional figures received by the government.

“We have just received provisional figures for export of goods. I wish to congratulate our exporters that in these very difficult times with resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan and globally, our exports have increased by 7.2% in November 2020 over the same period last year,” he wrote.

Exports increased to $2.156 billion in November 2020 as compared to $2.011 billion in November 2019.

Dawood explained that for the first five months of the current year, the exports increased to $9.732 billion as compared to $9.545 billion over the same period last year. 

He attributed this to the “hard work of our exporters”, saying that they deserve praise for this accomplishment.

Exports showed first recovery in July after consecutive downtrends since March amid the coronavirus lockdown, according to a The News report. An ease in the lockdown paved way for clearance of orders stuck on ports and revived economic activity.

Growth, however, could not be sustained in August with exports recording a double-digit decline. In August, exports fell to $1.58 billion from $1.86 billion in the corresponding month a year earlier.

Global lockdowns related to coronavirus pandemic upended the world’s economy. Economic activities came to a halt and ports were choked with cargoes.

Pakistan’s economy was already struggling before the coronavirus. The growth is expected to recover at 1 to 1.5% this fiscal year after contraction in the previous fiscal year

Exports continued to show contraction since the government took charge.

The ruling PTI government has curtailed imports and mobilised foreign funds to improve the balance of payments position since it took over in August 2018.

The International Monetary Fund’s loan programme opened up inflows from other multilateral and bilateral foreign institutions to currently elevate the foreign exchange reserves to near $19 billion from $14.4 billion till end of the last fiscal year. 

Exports, however, to GDP ratio is teetering below 10%.

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