Pakistan faces serious imbalances in trade with Asian countries as imports from them are 76 per cent of the country’s entire import bills while exports to the region are just 43 per cent of total export from Pakistan.
According to State Bank of Pakistan statistics, the trade is in favour of most of the Asian countries while Pakistan has failed to improve its trade balance with them.
During the financial year 2011, Pakistan imported goods worth $27.777 billion from the Asian region, which is 76 per cent of the country’s total import of $36.379 billion. Compared to this tall figure, the country’s exports to the region could hardly reached $11.195 billion, which is just 40 per cent of imports from the region.
Even Pakistan’s close friends are getting large benefits while their imports from the country reflect poor and discouraging trade relations. China’s exports to Pakistan in FY-11 rose to $4.144 billion from last year’s $3.283 billion. However, China’s import from Pakistan remained stuck to just $1.645 billion, reflecting a serious gap which could be filled with better trade relations and market strategy.
Pakistan’s trade with Singapore and Malaysia also could not improve. The two countries made billions of rupees of exports, but their imports from Pakistan were pittance. Singapore’s export rose to $2.515 billion while that of Malaysia to $1.773 billion against their imports of $237 million and $154 million, respectively.
Even Japan, which was hit by the worst kind of Tsunami, succeeded in increasing its export to Pakistan which rose to $1.583 billion, compared to last years’ $1.138 billion. Japan’s import from Pakistan was just $160 million.
Although Pakistan lacks good relations with India, its exports to Pakistan increased substantially during FY-11 while its imports from Pakistan were not significant. India’s exports to Pakistan rose to $1.445 billion from last year’s $1.061 billion, but its imports from Pakistan stood at just $286 million.
The Middle East topped the list of exports to Pakistan mainly because of oil and the balance of trade is completely in the former’s favour. Pakistan’s import from the United Arab Emirates rose to $5.812 billion against its export of $1.855 billion.
Pakistan’s imports from Saudi Arabia rose to $4.450 billion while its export to the country was $426 million. It shows that despite friendly relations Pakistanis have failed to exploit the rich market of Saudi Arabia. Kuwait’s oil export to Pakistan stood at $2.985 billion while its import form Pakistan was just $92 million. The figures show that Pakistan has either failed to improve its trade relations with Kuwait or is not willing to increase its export to that country.
From / Gulf Today