The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) reported a 20 percent fall—worth $1.58 billion—in exports within the month of August alone while import rates remained stagnant. The end product is a stunted economy which is experiencing a rapidly depreciating trade volume. If the government is unable to devise long-term strategies to correct this imbalance, we stand to threaten our financial wellbeing completely.

If the pandemic induced stringent global trade restrictions weren’t detrimental enough, Pakistan has been littered with diverse problems that significantly contribute towards the deteriorating economic status quo. Industrial practices have been halted, or slowed down at least, due to flooding, absent power resources or their lack of development deprives the country of enhanced productivity levels, absent manufacturing of value-added products boosts the demand for imports and an agricultural economy limits the scope of exports. As such, it is imperative for the government to capitalise on each prospect in order to compete at an international scale and revive overall productivity levels.

One cause for appreciation is the announcement made by the federal government regarding the revocation of the ban on the export of Tyvek Suits and antimalarial drugs—Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine. Both of these are used to tackle coronavirus and prevent transmission rates. The fact that they have been approved for export is evidence of the fact that the government has adhered to promises of self-sufficiency. It also proves that rescuing the country from a downward economic spiral is well within our reach. Through utilising effective strategies like exporting commodities we don’t need, we are able to set up a successful model for encouraging exports and rectifying our balance of trade.

The focus of the government, as of now, should be to provide worthy incentives, and grant access to additional resources, to other sectors of the industry as well. It will enable businesses to stimulate activity and respond to global market trends, thereby amplifying Pakistan’s economic standing.