ISLAMABAD: Export of services grew 17.71 per cent in the first 11 months of 2021-22, according to the data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Monday.

In absolute terms, the value of export of services reached $6.318bn between July-May 2021-22 from $5.367bn over the corresponding months of last year.

The export of services grew by 9.38pc to $514.11m in May against $470.02m in the same month last year. However, on a month-on-month basis, the export of services increased by 19.93pc. The trend showed that exports of services slowed down in May, which is not a good indicator.

The highest-ever growth in export of IT-related services pushed up the overall figure.

Services exports also include finance and insurance, transport and storage, wholesale and retail trade, public administration and defence.

The ICT export remittances, including telecommunication, computer and information services in 11MFY22 surged to $2.38 billion, a growth of 25.45pc over $1.89bn in 11MFY21.

The commerce ministry has projected a services export target of $7.5bn for 2021-22.

The services sector has emerged as the main economic growth driver by contributing 61pc to GDP in 2020-21 from 56pc in 2005-06.

Simultaneously, the import of services also rose 35.49pc to $10.284bn in the July-May period of 2021-22 against $7.59bn in the corresponding months last year.

The import of services grew 48.50pc to $894.04m in May against $602.05m in the same month last year. On a month-on-month basis, it posted a negative growth of 13.96pc.

The import of services fell 10.75pc to $7.812bn in FY21 from $8.753bn in the preceding year.

The trade deficit in services increased by 78.43pc to $3.966bn in 11MFY22 against $2.222bn in 11MFY21. In May, the trade deficit widened by 187.76pc to $379.93m from $132.03m in the same month last year.

The previous government announced several measures in the budget 2021-22 for the promotion of the export of services, especially information technology.

Trade deficit

Pakistan’s trade deficit in merchandise reached $48.259bn in 2021-22 from $31.076n the preceding year, indicating an increase of 55.29pc, the PBS reported.

In June, the trade deficit widened by 33.42pc to $4.835bn against $3.624bn in the corresponding month last year. It was largely driven by an almost double increase in imports compared to exports.

The import bill increased 41.93pc to $80.019bn during 2021-22, up from $56.380bn a year ago. In June alone, the import bill edged up to $7.722bn from $6.352bn over the same month last year, reflecting an increase of 21.57pc. Imports increased by 13.94pc month-on-month in June.

Pakistan’s exports increased 25.51pc to $31.76bn in the just-ended fiscal year, up from $25.304bn a year ago. Exports grew 5.83pc to $2.887bn in June, up from $2.728bn in the previous year.

In the outgoing fiscal year, the government projected the annual export target for commodities at $31.2bn and services at $7.5bn.

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2022

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