Monday Feb 11, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood Monday said that Pakistan's exports increased by 4 percent in first seven months of current fiscal year 2018-19 to $13.259 billion as compared to the same period of last year.
Similarly, he said the country's imports also decreased from $34.264 billion to $32.545 billion during July-January.
"Due to the increase in exports and decrease in imports, the country's trade deficit shrank by $2.1 billion," Dawood said this while addressing a press conference here along with Secretary Commerce Mohammad Younus Dhaga at Ministry of Industries and Production.
The adviser said, "Because of prudent economic policies of incumbent government, we decreased our imports successfully by imposing regulatory duties on the imports of furnace oil and other luxury items of food and automobile."
He said that in January alone, the country's exports witnessed an increasing trend by $1 billion because of duties on non-essential items, adding that in coming five years the exports would further increase.
Dawood informed the newsmen that import of hydel machinery, energy supply and other luxury items also decreased during the period under review. He added that now lot of hydro energy projects were also being completed as an alternative source of energy.
He said that exports mostly increased in food items, textiles and cement, while overall 50 percent cement exports were increased in seven months of current fiscal year.
Replying to a question, the adviser said that edible oil imports reached at $3 billion, which needed to be decreased for maintaining balance of trade.
He hoped that in coming five years, imports would be decreased more and the country's exports would further increase.
To a question, Dawood said the impact of devaluation of Pakistani rupee would be felt in around 5-6 months.
Meanwhile, Secretary Dhaga informed that the government is committed for searching new potential markets in different regions of the world. He said that "Look Africa" campaign was also part of this policy to explore the market of African region.
Dhaga said the government was also negotiating with Latin American countries including Brazil and the US for exploring new trade avenues to increase trade volumes with these countries.