ISLAMABAD: Pakis­tan’s trade deficit with nine regional countries wide­ned by 30.23 per cent to $7.272 billion in 10MFY24 from $5.584bn in the same period last year.

An increase in imports mainly from China and India caused the trade deficit during July-April 203-24. According to data compiled by the State Bank of Pakistan, exports to regio­nal countries, mainly Chi­na, grew over the review period, but shipments to other regional countries remained negative.

In absolute terms, the value of Pakistan’s exports to the nine regional countries — Afghanistan, Chi­na, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Iran, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives — rose 20.62pc to $3.655bn in July-April from $3.030bn in the corresponding period FY23.

Contrary to this, imports increased by 26.85pc to $10.927bn in 10MFY24 from $8.614bn in the same period last year. This sho­ws a slight increase in the trade deficit with maximum countries in FY24. Pak­istan’s bulk of regional exports, over 60pc, go to China while the rest go to the remaining eight countries.

Exports to China incre­ased 37.7pc to $2.341bn in July-April FY24 from $1.700bn over the corresponding period last year. In FY23, the exports to China declined 27.3pc to $2.02bn from $2.78bn in FY22. It was the first decrease in the post-Covid period.

Imports from China also increased by 27.69pc to $10.65bn in 10MFY24 from $8.34bn in the corresponding months of last year. The bulk of imports in the region are also sourced from China, followed by India.

Pakistan’s imports from India increased by 13.21pc to $172.07m in 10MFY24 compared to $151.98m in the same per­iod last year. Exports to India stood at $1.37m pc this year compared to $0.25m during the same period last year.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2024

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