Exports for the month of April see a sharp 54% decline
To compensate for the reduction in exports the government has allowed the export of face masks.
The exports for the month of April have seen a sharp decline of about 54%, falling from $2.089 billion in April 2019 to $957 million in April 2020. This plunge in the total value of exports can be attributed to the ongoing coronavirus Pandemic which has led to the closure of factories, retail stores and caused complete lockdowns in many parts of the world.
The disruption in supply chains, as well as the lack of consumer demand, has led to the cancellation of many import orders from Europe and North America. Overall Pakistan’s exports during the first 10 months (July-April) of the current fiscal year witnessed a decline of 3.92pc, from $19.1 billion to $18.4 billion.
This has also affected Pakistan’s imports, which dropped 34.5% to $3.1 billion in April 2020 as compared to $4.7 billion in April 2019 and 16.5% on a cumulative basis for the first 10 months of this year falling from $45.3 billion to $37.9 billion. As a result, the trade deficit has narrowed by 25.68% in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, mainly due to the drastic reduction in imports.
Export of face masks allowed:
To compensate for the reduction in exports the government has allowed the export of face masks. Exporters have also reported having received orders for medical gowns, masks as well as anti-bacterial and anti-fungal cloth.
According to the advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood the coronavirus has had a major impact on the way we do business and processes will now be completely different.
He also said that “This is a golden opportunity for Pakistan to pursue the ‘Make in Pakistan Policy’” and “Under the circumstances, the need of the hour is a policy whereby we do not import but make products in Pakistan”.
Mr. Dawood also reported that the commerce ministry is working on bringing changes in the tariff structure in the upcoming budget. “The focus of these measures is to facilitate local production thereby moving towards local manufacturing, pursuing our Make in Pakistan Policy,” he stated.
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