ISLAMABAD: Pakis­tan’s trade deficit with the Middle East has significantly improved, narrowing by 26 per cent to $10.67 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, mainly due to decreasing petroleum imports from the region.

The trade imbalance with the region has decreased since the beginning of the current fiscal year, primarily because of reduced consumption of petroleum products, as prices have continued to rise during the months under review.

In absolute terms, Pakistan’s exports to the Middle East rose 31.88pc to $2.52bn between July-April 2023-24 compared to $1.91bn in the corresponding period last year.

At the same time, imports dipped 19.22pc to $13.19bn in 10M FY24, compared to $16.34 bn in the same period last year, according to data compiled by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

Pakistan has recently signed a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooper­ation Council (GCC) states to minimise its trade imbalance with the region.

The demand for Pakistani products has surged in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Pakistan witnessed a 7.24pc decline in imports totalling $17.49bn in FY23, down from $18.­85bn in the preceding year. In FY23, exports to the Middle East shrank 12.62pc to $2.33bn from $2.67bn in the preceding year.

Exports to Saudi Arabia rose 42.91pc in 10M FY24 to $579.43m from $405.44m in 10M FY23. At the same time, imports from Saudi Arabia increased by 0.26pc to $3.79bn in 10MFY24 against $3.78bn in the same period last year.

Exports to the UAE surged 35.62pc to $1.64bn in 10MFY24 from $1.21bn in 10M FY23, primarily due to a significant rise in exports to Dubai. Most of these exports were directed towards Dubai, amounting to $1.36bn this year, compared to $1.09bn during the same period last year, indicating an increase of 24.93pc.

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

Contrary to this, imports from UAE declined by 22.67pc to $5.06bn in 10MFY24, compared to $6.539 bn in the corresponding period last year.

Exports to Bahrain increased by 7.49pc to $58.78m in 10MFY24 from $54.68m in the corresponding period last year.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2024

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

Kindness needed
Updated 20 Jun, 2024

Kindness needed

This year’s World Refugee Day theme — solidarity with refugees — includes keeping our borders accessible and addressing the hurdles they face.
Fitch’s budget note
20 Jun, 2024

Fitch’s budget note

PAKISTAN’S ongoing economic crisis is multifaceted. At one end, the government must pursue stabilisation policies...
Cruelty to animals
20 Jun, 2024

Cruelty to animals

TWO recent incidents illustrate the immense cruelty many in this country subject voiceless animals to. In the first...
Price bombs
Updated 18 Jun, 2024

Price bombs

It just wants to take the easy route and enjoy the ride for however long it is in power.
Palestine’s plight
Updated 17 Jun, 2024

Palestine’s plight

While the faithful across the world are celebrating with their families, thousands of Palestinian children have either been orphaned, or themselves been killed by the Israeli aggressors.
Profiting off denied visas
Updated 19 Jun, 2024

Profiting off denied visas

The staggering rejection rates underscore systemic biases in the largely non-transparent visa approval process.