Pakistan’s top five export destinations account for nearly half (49pc) of the country’s overall exports. Most of the exports are concentrated towards the West with China as the exception.
On the other hand, Pakistan’s exports are barely a rounding error when tallying the imports of the global bigwigs. The unequal relationship in trade is symbolic of the unequal political relationship, with the country heavily relying on the generosity of the developed nations.
Unlike other more savvy countries, Pakistan has never been able to be strategic in its policies. Take the example of India and China — both countries are rivals in terms of global might and enemies in terms of border disputes. However, that has not prevented them from being trading partners — their bilateral trade stood at $126bn last year. Their withdrawal from disputed areas will enhance bilateral trade, while Kashmir will continue to be the perpetual bone of contention.
Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, September 12th, 2022