Pakistan’s export share for August is incredibly distressing. Exports in international markets have seen a 20 percent drop. While business has already resumed, the decrease in Pakistan’s exports is not what we should witness. Our exports industry should have seen a boom. But quite the opposite of the assumption happened; this, perhaps, is not only a failure of the industry. The shrinking of our export products is the state’s failure as well.

It is not just manufactured goods that can increase our export share. Our agricultural produce can also earn us significant amounts in revenue. International supermarkets’ shelves are brimming with inferior quality fruits and vegetables. This offers our growers a perfect opportunity. If the government helps our farmers a little, we can fill our national kitty with extra cash. This is also true for rice and other products. It does not matter whether our economy is industrialised or not; the reality is that we are not exporting the quantities we should be.

Unfortunately, the government says now and then that it is taking measures to boost our exports. But the stats for August suggests otherwise. In the review meeting at the Ministry of Commerce, the monsoon season was blamed for the fall. Undoubtedly, heavy rain spells did cause a lot of obstruction. But just blaming rain means that our policymakers think that had it not been for the rain, our exports would have increased. This is not the case, however.

The Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Mr Abdul Razak Dawood wants the manufacturers to pursue “export-led growth”, and he has already directed his ministry to facilitate exporters. Unless we enhance the volume of our products in foreign markets, the government must not show any surprise when the downward slide of rupee continues. Increasing Pakistan’s export capabilities must become a greater focus for our economic policymakers.