In the fiscal year 2020-2021, Pakistan’s trade deficit increased by a massive 32.9 percent to $ 7.616 billion. The trade deficit has widened since December 2020, mainly due to the rapid growth in imports and relatively slow growth in exports. Annual imports rose 25.8%, or $ 11.517 billion, to $ 56.091 billion in fiscal year 2021 from $ 44.574 billion in the last year.

In June 2021, a record high imports of $ 6.052 billion were witnessed, up from $ 3.719 billion in the previous month, an increase of 62.7 percent. Monthly imports increased by 14 percent.

Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Trade & Investment Abdul Razzak Dawood has said Pakistan’s merchandise exports rose to a historic high of $ 25.3 billion in Fiscal years 2020-2021, despite the outbreak of the COVID19.

Razzak said at a press conference that Pakistan’s exports increased by 18% over the past fiscal year. Exports in June amounted to $ 2.7 billion, the highest level in a month.

Dawood thanked the exporters for their contribution in increasing the exports quantum. Exports in the services sector totaled $ 6 billion, bringing total exports (of goods and services) to $ 3.1 billion.

Dawood said he was against raising taxes to boost government revenues.

“Changing prices is not easy. It should be a three or four-year plan. ” “Over the past three years, 6,000 tariff lines have been changed.” According to him, 42 percent of imports of raw materials and equipment are duty-free, but tariffs still require an additional decrease.

Tariffs for agriculture, iron ore, and stocks will be cut next year. Tariffs for medicines, footwear, tourism, food processing, and fiber optic have already been reduced.

The export of textiles increased by 18.85% and the export of pharmaceuticals by 27%. Exports of copper and its derivatives increased by 44%.

However, rice exports declined 8% over the year, while cotton yarn exports fell 2%. Raw leather – 16%, plastic – 6% is exported.

“This is a good sign that our exports have grown despite the stalemate around the world,” he said. The pandemic has led to a decline in exports to all countries in the region except Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s exports increased by 13%. “

Dawood said he hopes to boost Pakistan’s exports over the next two years.

According to him, it is necessary to sign preferential trade agreements with Uzbekistan. It is necessary to discuss the draft of the Silk Road project.

Dawood said that transit and preferential trade agreements will also be signed with Afghanistan.

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