ISLAMABAD-Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Friday said that Pakistan’s exports have shown clear signs of recovery in the ongoing month of July after continuously declined in last few months due to the outbreak of COVID-19. He informed the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile that Pakistan’s exports have shown clear signs of recovery in first 15 days of the July. The exports were continuously declining after COVID-19. He informed the committee that Pakistan’s exports had reduced less as compared to other countries of the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pakistan’s exports were only 6.8 per cent less than 2018-19, while our regional countries Bangladesh was down 17 per cent and India down by 14 per cent, he added.

Adviser informed that Pakistan’s exports were on an upward trajectory and it showed an increase of 14 per cent in dollar value terms as compared to the same month last year before the outbreak of the pandemic near the end of February 2020. This momentum for February 2020 continued despite the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, as the first 15 days of March 2020 registered an increase of 13 per cent as compared to last year. In mid March, because of a lockdown to control the spread of the pandemic, followed by a global economic slowdown, the export-oriented industry in Pakistan suffered as reflected in March 2020 figures, which showed the decline in growth by 8 per cent compared to same period last year. The situation persisted and, in April 2020 the exports showed a downward trend of 54 per cent as compared to April 2019. Exports saw 33 per cent decline in May and 6 per cent in June this year over corresponding period of last year.

The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile has also discussed the Afghan Transit Trade. Committee Chairman Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi said that business community is facing problems due to Afghan Transit Trade. He stressed the government to take action to address the issues related to transit trade. Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment assured the committee that government would resolve the issues of Afghan Transit Trade. He said that government is also taking measures to enhance the bilateral trade volume with Afghanistan.