Pakistan’s regional trade deficit widened

The State Bank of Pakistan’s most recent data shows that Pakistan’s exports to nine countries in the region went up by 16.97% in fiscal year 2022 compared to the previous year, while imports went up by about 28.84%. This indicates that Pakistan’s trade deficit has widened.

trade deficit

According to a report in the Dawn newspaper, the country’s exports to Afghanistan, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Iran, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives are worth a modest $4,590,000,00, or $31,790,000,00 for Pakistan in FY22. Only 14.43 percent of all exports are in dollars.

Pakistan trades only by water with its far-off neighbors, including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and the Maldives. China is Pakistan’s biggest export market in the region.

On the other hand, imports from these countries rose from $13.83 billion in FY21 to $17.81 billion in FY22, a 28.8 percent increase.

During the time period under review, Pakistan’s trade deficit with other countries in the area grew because it bought so many things.

In 2021, the amount of goods that Pakistan sold to China went up.

22 Most of Pakistan’s exports to the region, or 60.58 percent, go to China. The other eight countries in the region get the other 40 percent.

In FY21, Pakistan sold $2.4 billion worth of goods to China. In FY22, that number rose to $2.78 billion. In the years after COVID, Pakistan’s exports to China have grown, especially rice exports.

On the other hand, imports from China went up by 30.03 percent to $17.3 billion from $13.3 billion the year before.

Pakistan gets 97.09% of its imports from China alone. The other 8.1% comes from the other 8 countries.

In FY22, Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan dropped from $9.53 billion in FY21 to $5.53 billion. This is a 43.8 percent drop.

Before a few years ago, Pakistan’s second biggest export market after the US was Afghanistan.

The amounts that were traded in the country’s own currency are not included in these export numbers.

Afghanistan’s imports reached $1.79 billion, up from $1.47 billion the year before. This was mostly because more fresh and dried fruits, as well as tomatoes, potatoes, and onions, were brought in.

Since the Taliban took over, the government has let more land-based imports from Afghanistan be paid for in rupees. These imports are not included in the numbers because they are paid for in rupees.

In FY21, exports to India went down from $2.33 billion to $1.29 billion, while imports from India went up from $1.84 billion to $1.88 billion.

Official records show that Pakistan did not export anything to Iran in FY22. Most of its trade with Tehran was done through informal channels through the border areas of Balochistan, and it did not import anything from Iran during the period under review.