ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports to the Middle East dipped 12.28 per cent year-on-year to $2.127 billion in the first 11 months of FY23, mainly driven by a substantial decline in exports to the United Arab Emirates.

The exports to Saudi Arabia increased while other countries of the region dipped, according to data compiled by the State Bank of Pakistan.

Nearly 62pc of total exports to the region go to the UAE market alone. However, it suffered a decline of 20.46pc to $1.341bn in 11MFY23 from $2.425bn over the corresponding months last year (FY22).

Out of seven UAE states, the bulk of export was destined for Dubai amounting to $1.209bn during 11MFY23 against $1.272bn in the corresponding months last year, showing a decline of 4.95pc.

Pakistan’s top export products to UAE include rice, bovine carcasses and half carcasses, men’s/boys’ cotton ensembles, guavas, mangoes, etc.

Similarly, Pakistan’s top sectoral exports to the UAE include cereals, articles of apparel and clothing, meat and edible offal etc.

Pakistan’s second biggest market in the region in terms of value is Saudi Arabia. However, the exports jumped 21.41pc to $457.113m in 11MFY23 from $376.485m in the preceding fiscal year.

Exports to Saudi Arabia have stagnated at around $500m in the last decade due to no expansion in market access as compared to the UAE.

Top exports to Saudi Arabia include rice (semi- or wholly milled), bovine carcasses and half carcasses, tents, textile materials, etc.

Pakistan’s exports to Qatar dipped 13.77pc to $152.880m in 11MFY23 from $177.296m during 11MFY22, which include rice, bovine carcasses, potatoes, onions, guavas, mangoes, etc. However, one of the most exported goods to Qatar during 11MFY23 remained footballs as Pakistan was the official football supplier to the FIFA World Cup 2022 held in November in Doha, Qatar.

Pakistan exports to Kuwait fell by 7.92pc to $117.353m during the July-May FY23 from $122.356m over the corresponding months of last year. Top exports to Kuwait include bovine carcasses, seafood, tents, rice, etc. The top sectoral exports to Kuwait include meat and edible meat offal, followed by other made-up textiles. And Pakistan exports to Bahrain dipped 6.06pc to $59.275m in 11MFY23 against $63.103m over the corresponding year.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2023

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