ISLAMABAD  - Pakistan's textile export witnessed a growth of over 8.36 percent in the first half (July-December) of the ongoing fiscal year from a year ago.
In absolute terms, export of textile and clothing reached $6.944 billion in July-December 2013 from $6.409 billion during the corresponding months of last year, according to the figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
Industry sources said that consistent supply of gas during the period under review to textile sector produced the desired results, especially in the Punjab. They believed that textile sector could fetch further export orders if government provides power supply (gas and electricity) to the industries especially after getting GSP plus status.
The government expects hike in growth from these sectors from January 2014 onwards following announcement of duty-free facility by the European market under the GSP Plus.
Pakistan's exports could potentially increase its share to two percent, which implies additional exports of about $1 billion, as the European Union has approved preferential access of Pakistani made ups to EU market under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) plus, effective from January 2014.
The official statistics showed that export of raw cotton witnessed a growth of 77.58 percent in the months under review over the last year.
Meanwhile, export of cotton yarn has recorded decline of 3.10 percent followed by increase in export of cotton cloth of 6.1 percent. Similarly, the exports of cotton carded has registered negative growth of 4.73 percent, yarn export surged by 13.49 percent, knitwear, 5.35 percent, bed wear, 21.72 percent, towels negative growth of 3.93 percent, tenets, canvas and tarpaulin 10.13 percent in the first half of the ongoing fiscal year.
According to statistics, country's overall export rose to $12.639 billion in July-December 2013-14 period from $12.024 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year, an increase of 5.11 percent. On the other hand, the import bill has declined to $21.671 billion in July-December 2013-14 period from $21.922 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year, decline of 1.14 percent. 
Meanwhile, Pakistan's oil and food import bill has recorded negative growth of 3.35 percent during first half (July-December) of the ongoing fiscal year over the corresponding of the previous year.
The country has spent $9.54 billion for oil and food import during (July-December) of the current financial year 2013-2014 as against $9.871 billion of the same period of last year, showing a decline of 3.35 percent.
The import of oil and foodstuff has recorded decline in the period under review.
The break-up of $21.671 billion import bill showed that food import bill witnessed a substantial decline of 6.98 percent at $2.011 billion in July-December 2013 as against $2.162bn over the corresponding period last year.
Oil import bill reached $7.529 billion in July-December 2013 this year as against $7.709 billion over last year, indicating a decrease of 2.33 percent. Import of crude oil was up by 0.96 percent to $2.803b during July-December 2013 as against $2.777 billon last year. Import of petroleum products fell to $4.725 billion in July-December 2013, down by 4.19 percent from $4.931 billion last year.
Meanwhile, the import of machinery group recorded at $2.873 billion, transport group at $1.036 billion, $1.109 billion on textile group, $3.158 billion on agricultural and other chemical group, $1.138 billion on metal group and $415 million on miscellaneous group and $2.156 billion on all other items during first half (July-December) of the ongoing financial year 2013-14.