ISLAMABAD: The government has admitted that Pakistan’s exports with its neighbouring countries have been sliding since 2012-13.
As the trade liberalisation agenda has been put on the back burner, the gains made through trade liberalisation with India have started to reverse, official statistics show.
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During first eleven months of FY2015-16, the volume of bilateral trade with India was less than recorded during FY2012-13, according to the information provided by the Ministry of Commerce to the National Assembly recently.
The volume of bilateral trade amounted to Rs206 billion during July-May of the last fiscal year, the ministry said. It was Rs232.6 billion during FY2012-13 – the first year after trade liberalisation.
Pakistan, in 2012, took a giant step by replacing the Positive List of 1,946 items, which could be imported from India, with the Negative List of roughly 1,250, which cannot be traded.
As per the figures provided to the Lower House of parliament, there is a constant decline – both in imports and exports since 2012-13. The export value was Rs35.5 billion during FY2013-14 which jumped to Rs46.4 billion during FY2014-15, but during FY2015-16, it started squeezing to Rs41.5 billion.
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Similarly, the import value has also witnessed a downward trend from Rs197.2 billion during FY2012-13 to Rs162.0 billion up to May 2016.
Surprisingly, besides India, Pakistan’s exports value is also witnessing a decline since 2012-13. The statistics stated that the downward trend is also vivid in exports with Afghanistan, China, and Iran.
The export value of trade with China was Rs260 billion during FY2012-13. It has slipped to Rs162 billion during 2016. While the Chinese import value of trade with Pakistan has seen a whopping increase – from Rs722 billion during FY2012-13 to Rs1.11 trillion till May 2016.
Our exports volume with Afghanistan was Rs183 billion during FY2012-13, but it came down to Rs140 billion during FY2015-16. Similarly, with Pakistan, Iran’s export value was Rs9.4 billion in that specific period and it has also started going down till May 2016 which is Rs3.4 billion.
The ministry has also stated that the value of exports through the border with Iran has currently come to zero from Rs36 million in 2012-13.
Courtesy : Express Tribune