ISLAMABAD: Merch­andise exports grew 25.3 per cent in the first fortnight of the current month on a year-on-year basis, indicating a recovery of export-led industrial growth.

Official data compiled by the commerce ministry showed that export proceeds in the first 15 days of February reached $1.275 billion from $1.017bn over the corresponding period last year.

Commerce Minister Gohar Ejaz noted that these positive trends refl­ect the growth momentum that will be recorded in the remaining days of the current month. “We hope that growth will continue in the remaining months of the current fiscal year,” the minister said.

The break up showed that textile and apparel exports grew 8pc to $682m from $631.3m in the corresponding period last year. The export growth in the manufacturing and engineering sector was recorded at 19.8pc to $214.9m this year against $179.5m in the corresponding period last year.

The agriculture and food products surged 82.8pc to $377.8m against $206.7m in the same period last year. Food exports have consecutively been growing for the last six months.

The total export proceeds reached $19.041bn between July 1, 2023 to Feb 15 against $16.848bn over the corresponding period of last year. The break up showed that textile and apparel recorded a negative growth of 3.3pc to $10.433bn against $10.789bn in the corresponding period last year.

The export of manufacturing and engineering grew 14.6pc to $3.563bn in the first seven and half months against $3.109bn over the corresponding period of last year.

Similarly, the export of agriculture and good products surged 71pc to $5.043bn against $2.949bn in the same period last year.

Contrary to this, imports value declined by 21pc to $1.859bn in the first fortnight of February against $2.353bn in the same period last year. The import value dipped 17pc to $31.869bn in the first seven and half months of FY24 against $38.189bn in the same period last year.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2024

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