Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the concerned officials to take immediate measures to check the existing import-export gap.
PM Imran Khan issued the direction over a meeting to review measures taken by the government for increasing exports.
PM directed the Commerce Division to present within the next 2 weeks Strategic Exports Framework for approval. So that they can set targets for trade and investment officers posted abroad.
PM said the govt’s priority in terms of increasing exports was the diversification of products and markets.
A $30 billion of exports is achieveable, someone informed the meeting. With a focus on 19 products, $30bn exports is possible. These products come under the areas of IT, textile, medicines, poultry and rice. Also vegetables, dry fruit, leather, salt, marble, ceramics and surgical instruments.
Moreover, The Commerce Division says that consultation with all the stakeholders is in progress. Like industrialists, exporters and relevant government institutions.
Import-Export Gap Increases
In a worrying development, Pakistan’s trade deficit surged to $7.337 billion during July-August period of the current fiscal year (2021-22) as imports outpaced exports drastically, according to a The News report published last week.
The report had stated that the government is left with no other option but to take measures to curtail rising imports otherwise, this yawning trade deficit may start posing risks to worsening the current account deficit (CAD).
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had projected CAD to hover around 2-3% of GDP, equivalent to $6 billion to $9 billion for the current fiscal year. However, independent economists like Dr Hafiz Pasha see the CAD going up to $12-13 billion for the current fiscal year.
The pace at which the trade deficit has widened in just the first two months poses serious threats to the balance of payment position amid chances of stagnation of remittances from abroad.