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Trade deficit widens to $17.3b in July – February

Trade deficit widens to $17.3b in July – February

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s trade deficit widened by 9 percent or $17.3 billion during first eight months (July – February) 2020/2021 of the current fiscal due to surge in import bill for the period, according to provisional data released by the ministry of commerce.

The trade deficit widened to 17.3 billion during first eight months of the current fiscal year as compared with $15.87 billion in the same months of the last fiscal year.

Import bill increased to $33.6 billion during the period under review as compared with $31.5 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, showing an increase of 6.6 percent.

On the other hand, exports posted a growth of 4.2 percent to $16.3 billion during July – February 2020/2021 as compared with $15.64 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year.

Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment, in a tweet message commented that most of this growth came from increase in import of raw material and intermediate goods, which increased by 7.8 percent.

The import of capital goods declined by 0.2 percent, while that of consumer goods decreased by 7.3 percent, he added.

“This shows that the Make-in-Pakistan Policy of MOC is delivering dividends and industrial activity in the country is increasing. The import bill this year also increased because we had to import Wheat and Sugar to stabilize the market prices,” he said.

Cotton was also imported to to help the Export-oriented industry so that the exports are not hampered.

During Jul-Feb 2021, the import of Wheat amounted to USD 909 million, Sugar USD 126 million and Cotton USD 913 million (total of USD 1,948 million).