PIAF wants exports on sustainable growth as trade deficit keeps widening

PIAF wants exports on sustainable growth as trade deficit keeps widening

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front on Sunday called for controlling trade deficit which has widened by almost 65 percent to $39.290 billion in July-April 2021-22, stressing the need for putting the economy on a balanced and sustainable growth trajectory, addressing the underlying structural vulnerabilities.
PIAF senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed and vice chairman Javed Siddiqi stressed the need for building on gains on the ease of doing business front, which requires not just the capacity development in key public institutions, but also a continuous dialogue with relevant stakeholders to ensure smooth implementation, he added.
Referring to a report, Nasir Hameed said that the country’s imports during July-April (2021-22) totalled $65.537 billion as against $44.731 billion during the corresponding period of last year showing an increase of 46.51 percent.
The exports and imports data revealed that the imports in April were $6.679 billion as compared to $6.407 billion in March 2022 showing an increase of 4.25 percent and by 27.41 percent as compared to $5.242 billion in April 2021.
The country’s overall exports during July-April (2021- 22) totalled $26.247 billion against $20.905 billion during the corresponding period of last year showing an increase of 25.55 percent.
The country’s exports during April 2022 were $2.897 billion as compared to $2.777 billion in March 2022, showing an increase of 4.32 percent and by 30.61 percent as compared to $2.218 billion in April 2021.
Textile group exports during July-April, 2021- 2022 totalled $15.981 billion against $12.688 billion during the corresponding period of last year showing an increase of 25.96 per cent. The textile group exports increased by 7.01 per cent on a month-on-month basis and remained at $1.739 billion in April 2022 compared to $1.625 billion in March 2022. On a year-on-year basis, textile group exports witnessed 30.50 per cent growth in April 2022, when compared to $1.332 billion in April 2021.
Petroleum group imports witnessed an increase of 95.84 per cent growth as they reached $17.033 billion in July-April 2021-22 compared to $8.697 billion during the same period of the last fiscal year and registered 19.44 per cent growth in April 2022 and remained $2.223 billion when compared to $1.861 billion in March 2022 and registered 94.38 per cent growth on a year-on-year basis in April 2022 when compared to $1.143 billion during the same month of last year.
Javed Siddiqi said that development expenditures witnessed a sharp growth of 30.5 percent during the quarter, the report mentioned.
However, despite these stability gains, the overall confidence among businesses and consumers remained weak, as they struggled to preserve their purchasing powers and dealt with operational constraints stemming from the adjustment process, he said and added that while large businesses especially export-oriented and import-competing industries remained bullish on fundamentals and they refrained from taking a long-term view.
PIAF vice chairman Javed Iqbal said that previous corrections in the exchange rate helped the export-oriented industries, as reflected in the relatively better performance of textiles and leather.
From the policy perspective, it is important to continue with the adjustment process despite weakening economic activity, as well as the visible stability gains in terms of the falling twin deficits, he said and added the policy continuation is warranted given the lingering vulnerabilities in the economy and the chronic nature of the structural weaknesses.

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