ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports grew for the fourth consecutive month in December to $2.357 billion, up 18.3 per cent from $1.993bn in the corresponding month last year, data released by the Ministry of Commerce showed on Friday.

However, the December export proceeds posted a growth of 8.4pc when compared with $2.174bn in November 2020.

The increase in overall exports is mainly driven by double-digit growth in proceeds from textile and clothing sectors as well as engineering products, surgical instruments and value-added leather products.

Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter to extend congratulations to exporters for achieving record exports in the month of December 2020. “Congratulations to all the exporters on achieving record exports in Dec 2020 with a growth of 18% over the previous year. Well done & keep up this trend. A major pillar of our govt’s economic policy is export enhancement & we will provide full support to promote export culture,” the prime minister tweeted.

Commerce Adviser Razak Dawood said that 18.3pc growth in export proceeds in the month of December is the highest export ever.

Between July to December, the export proceeds increased by 4.9pc to $12.104bn as compared to $11.533bn in the corresponding period last year.

“This shows the resilience of the economy of Pakistan and it is a vindication of the government’s policy to keep the wheels of economy running during the Covid-19 pandemic”, the adviser said.

The adviser went on to say that he commended exporters for achieving this feat during these testing times and urged them to aggressively focus on capturing a larger share of international trade.

Exports in the new fiscal year started on a positive note but witnessed a steep decline of 19pc in August before rebounding in September, October, and November.

To promote exports of textile and non-textile products, the government is providing cash subsidies besides slashing duty and taxes on import of raw materials.

In FY20, exports fell by 6.83pc or $1.57bn to $21.4bn, compared to $22.97bn the previous year. Data shows visible improvements in export orders from international buyers, mainly in the textile and clothing sectors since May.

Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2021

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