ISLAMABAD - The trade deficit in July 2009 remained at $ 1.15 billion as compared to the $ 1.67 billion deficit during the corresponding period of the last year, thus registering a remarkable decline of 31 per cent during the aforementioned period. Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) here Tuesday released the latest trade figures that reflected that the country exported goods worth $ 1.49 billion as against imports of $ 2.64 billion during the period under review. The figures showed that the gap between exports and imports reduced by 31.09 per cent during the first month of 2009-10 as against the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. The official statistics show that in July 2009, the country exported goods worth $ 1.49 billion as against $1.88 billion of the same month of last year, showing a decline of 20.78 per cent. On the other hand, the country imported goods amounting to $ 2.64 billion against imports of $ 3.55 billion of the last financial year registering a decrease of 25.63 per cent. The government in the Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2009-12 predicted that growth of exports in the ongoing fiscal year would remain sluggish due to slowdown in global demand, therefore the ministry of commerce had set the export growth target at 6 per cent for 2009-10. The 6 per cent growth in the exports would set the exports at $ 18.86 billion for current financial year showing a reduction of 14.66 per cent as compared to the target of $22.1 billion in the last fiscal year. However the government did not specify the import target for 2009-10. If we compare the statistics with those of the month of June last, it becomes clear that only in the month of July 2009, the country exported goods worth $1.49 billion as compared to the exports of $ 1.54 billion in June 2009 showing a decrease of 3.18 per cent, while imports amounted to $ 2.64 billion in July 2009 as against imports of $ 3.34 billion in June 2009 indicating a decline of 20.97 per cent. The trade deficit was at $1.80 billion in June 2009 as against imbalance of $ 1.15 billion in July 2009 indicating a decrease of 36.15 per cent. Experts are of the opinion that in order to achieve the proposed target, there is needed to improve and increase our exports through product and market diversification with gains in productivity. Increase in market diversification requires quality products with a good name of the country and congenial environment to buyers of Pakistani products to visit production venues and observe the processes. Similarly, product diversification needs investment, expertise, spending in research and development.