Trade deficit widening despite much-trumpeted rise in exports

Staff Reporter

Chairman Businessmen Panel of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Mian Anjum Nisar has said that as the country’s trade deficit has increased by almost 30% to $28 billion during 11 months (July-May) 2020-21, the authorities should focus on further accelerating exports, besides keeping some check on unbridled imports of luxury items.

In a statement issued on Saturday, he warned that the pace of growth in imports is projected to increase further in the coming months following the abolishment of regulatory duty on imports of raw materials and semi-finished products.

Mian Anjum Nisar observed that the economic managers will have to chalk-out a long term plan for import substitution and increasing exports so that Pakistan could become self-reliant.

He also emphasized the need for adoption of international best practices for priority sectors and consultations with international experts to achieve success.

He stressed upon the need to enhance inter-ministerial coordination and public-private partnership for increasing exports.

He said the low exports volume and rising trade deficit were chronicle issues which should be resolved permanently.

He said exportable items should be produced in accordance with the international demand to fully exploit the benefit of GSP-Plus status.

He said that several industries and sectors were neglected in past. He said decisions should be made in national interest, keeping aside the personal agenda.

Chairman BMP of FPCCI said that Pakistan’s trade deficit keeps on widening despite a much-trumpeted increase in exports, which were, in fact, not sufficient to match the huge surge in imports.

He said that the economic managers were boasting of their performance on the plea of current account balance, and observed that with a view to achieve consistency in current account surplus for a long period without compromising industrial growth the government will have to focus on increasing the exports and put the business and trade issues on priority.

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