Exports increased 43 percent to $2.257 billion in August 2021, up from $1.584 billion in August 2020, despite shipment setbacks due to severe rains, according to Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood.
He claimed in a series of tweets on Wednesday that in August 2021 exports fell $143 million shies of the monthly target of $2.4 billion. “I urge exporters to increase their marketing efforts in order to meet our target,” he added.
Tahir Abbas, Head of Research at Arif Habib Limited, acknowledged that the value of exports in August 2021 was lower than expected owing to rainfall and port delays.
In an interview with The Express Tribune, he complained that the Pakistani rupee was under pressure due to growing imports, even if the economy was on the mend.
“Another factor is the uncertainty surrounding the restart of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program,” he expressed worry. “We expect that clarity on the IMF program, higher exports in the future, stable remittances, and moderate inflows through the Roshan Digital Account would alleviate rupee pressure.”
According to Topline Securities Chief Economist Atif Zafar, exports fell 4% month on month in August, indicating that Pakistan was unable to considerably boost overseas shipments to compensate for growing imports.
“As a result, the current account deficit has grown, and it is projected to worsen in August,” he added. “The rupee has been undermined by the current account deficit, concerns over a meeting with the IMF, and the rise in the value of the US dollar.”
Vice President of the Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF), Ahmad Jawad, believes that it is past time for economic managers to act and create out-of-the-box ways to enhance exports in order for Pakistan to surpass $30 billion in shipments by June 2022.
He emphasized the importance of looking at non-traditional items in order to increase Pakistani exports.
“Pakistan has been exporting items on a trial and error basis for the last few years, and there is no uniform strategy that includes all industries and gives export incentives,” said Jawad.
According to him, a substantial increase in exports may be expected after merchants can take advantage of the Export Facilitation Scheme and their performance is reviewed as impediments are eliminated. “Similarly, economic diplomacy should contribute in the acceleration of exports,” he added.