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Export, Imports and Trade Deficit has been a critical issue in our national economic history. While we have been having severe energy crises and critical law and order situation with war on terror on the ground, it is indeed encouraging news that Pakistan has achieved exports of $ 19.383 billion in the year 2009 -10 [9.6% growth over same period 2008 – 09]. A fractional decline in imports by 0.3% [Imports 2009-10 $34.790 billion] cause trade deficit to decline to $15.327 billion from $ 17.13 billion.

Even the export figure of $ 19.383 billion is higher than 19.052 billion in the year 2007 – 08 but the export boost is an outcome of some shiny features. We have a history of handsome exports to Americas but this year exports to Americas decline to $ 4.15 billion from $ 4.17 billion in last year. At the same time exports to Europe stands at $ 5.13 billion that cater growth of 3.74%.

Exports to Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand registered class growth. It is suggesting that Pakistani exporters are searching for lesser spoiled markets and working something other than conventional export strategy of Pakistani products. Exporters have registered 13.5% growth in exports to Africa & Asia including Russia. In addition they registered increase of 8.04% in exports to Australia and New Zealand.

Textile and clothing have posted record numbers of $ 10.3 billion that cater growth of 7.05%. Agro & Food sector posted 6.6% growth, mineral and metal sector have posted 4.6% growth and engineering good have posted fractional growth of 0.3%.

Above figures of country’s trade are a decision within that the exporters of the country can find new markets for their products. They have to work on the strategies of value addition rather than exporting raw products. It is a time when we have to increase our export base. And last but not the least; our government have to put their socks up.

The way textiles have posted sound result we can say that new textile policy and advisor on textile has to be appreciated. It pin point that government has to select people from core business community for policy making and implementation control. It is far better than relying on people who have years of experience in bureaucratic services but no grip and knowledge of market mechanism and mechanism in industries.

Regardless of focusing on conventional regions like U.S. etc Pakistan have to explore new markets. We have brisk market for our products in Far-East, East Asian countries, Australasia etc.

One of the biggest strength of ours is minerals and metals. We have not yet explored the full potential of this sector. Metal & Mineral export stands at $1.65 billion [last year $1.13 billion]. Can we imagine what it means? The country that has Balouchistan, Sind, Punjab & Pakhtunkaw provinces in her geographical portfolio can multiply this figure by 100 even. We have to facilitate our mineral and metal industry because it can bring handy life style to poor areas where these rich minerals and metals reside, equally it can positively affect our exports.

Agriculture shall be vastly affected by floods this year but our agriculture is a clear strength. The world on the edge of recovery is expecting demand and price rise in commodity markets. The prospects of food items and metals are shiny and we can spoil this aspect by a well structured and targeted economic and trade policy. When we are seeing cooper in demand in commodities so we have to explore our cooper resources. If we sees wheat and rice in demand so we have to bring new ways of enhancing productions in this regard. Bring the technology in, train our villagers and bring economic and trade revolution. There is no other way.

Bodies like Trade Development Authorities (TDA) can not work for this great country of potential. We have to come up with dedicated trade zones at municipality level whereby competition in trade can be sparked among various regions in the country.

I don’t want to quote old talks regarding trade promotion measures because my readers are well aware that the law & order & political harmony, power supply, cheap credit, one window ops of government procedures, efficient trade refinancing and transparency are always required to excel in trade. Even we have to give import of capital goods an easy entry so our industry can revive. I end it on a note that this country can even excel in hardest of time on trade or economic front. Imagine what will happen if we have all things in order? Imagine what will happen if we post growth on political and psychological front as a nation?

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Mr. Omer

Mr. Omer [1982 born] started  his professional career as a commercial / investment banker after achieving Gold Medal in Finance at master level from University of Karachi in 2006.

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