ISLAMABAD: Exports to the Middle East bounced back with a growth of 20.82 per cent in July led by a demand revival from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.
However, the exports to the United Arab Emirates decreased, according to data compiled by the State Bank of Pakistan.
In FY23, Pakistan’s exports to the Middle East fell by 12.62pc to $2.332bn compared to $2.669bn in the preceding year. Pakistan witnessed a 7.24pc decline in imports totalling $17.488bn in FY23, down from $18.853bn in the previous year.
Exports to Saudi Arabia saw an increase of 43.71pc in July to $42.634m from $29.666m over the corresponding month of last year. Saudi Arabia is Pakistan’s second biggest market in the region in terms of value after the UAE. In FY23, the exports jumped 13.1pc to $503.40m from $420.40m 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 increased 4.67pc to $6.698m in July from $5.184m during FY23, which include rice, bovine carcasses, potatoes, onions, guavas, mangoes, etc. Pakistan exports to Kuwait increased by 1.84pc to $8.189m during July FY24 from $8.100m over the corresponding month of last year.
Nearly 62pc of total exports to the region go to the UAE market alone. However, it suffered a decline of 20.23pc to $1.474bn in FY23 from $1.848bn over the corresponding months FY22.
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2023