Exports rebound 5.8pc in July
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday chaired a meeting at the Commerce Ministry to review the recent trade statistics and devise plans for improving exports, a press release issued by the Press Information Department showed.
The latest statistics of exports and imports of the country were reviewed in the meeting. The data for July 2020 shows an export growth of 5.8 percent, in dollar value terms, as compared to July 2019.
This growth was recorded after a decline in exports for the last four months, since March, when there was a drop of 8pc compared to the same period last year. This decline widened in April, with a drop of 54pc in exports, which improved but remained at 35pc in May, improving further to only 6pc fall in exports in June 2020, as compared to the same period last year, said the PID release.
The strategies for product and geographical diversification were also reviewed in the meeting, in context of the recent trade statistics. One of the major sectors which showed good progress was the food processing sector where a growth of over 300pc was observed in July.
Similar growth was also seen in made-up sand clothing accessories sectors. In addition, the fish and fish products sector recorded a healthy growth of 50pc, while the home textiles sector, which was declining in the previous months, is now back up with 24pc growth.
In terms of exports, a major decline was witnessed in rice and cement, which fell down to 24pc and 12pc respectively in July, as compared to the same period last year. There is also a decline in the export of raw leather and cotton yarn, which is a clear indication that the government’s policy to pursue value-added exports is showing results.
On the import side, a decline of 4.2pc, in dollar value terms, was recorded in July 2020, as compared to July 2019. Due to this increase in exports and decline in imports, a 14.7pc improvement in trade balance is witnessed in July 2020 as compared to July 2019.
On the geographical diversification, not much progress has been shown in July 2020 as the exports still seem to be heavily dependent on traditional export markets.
Talking in the meeting, Dawood said that exporters as well as the government are coordinating their efforts in the testing times during the ongoing pandemic. He added that this achievement is particularly noteworthy because of the fact that a decline was being observed until the last month and a turnaround of around 12 percentage points has been achieved in just one month.
He also underlined that the commerce ministry will evaluate its geographical diversification in order to re-align the focus towards new opportunities. He also advised the ministry officials to extend support to exporters in order to achieve targets, not only in terms of numbers but also with regards to intended policy outcomes.