Now that millions of Britons have decided to leave the European Union, other countries brace for the economic shocks. Pakistan is one such country, and we already have reports of the textile sector taking a hit.

Pakistan’s stock market tumbled over 1,400 points in the aftermath of UK’s historical referendum, with textile and auto sectors bearing the burden of the decision. What is a little comforting is that the undesirable impact stemming from Brexit will be comparatively less for Pakistan’s economy as it is relatively insulated from global markets. The reason is that Pakistan’s exports are only 7% of the country’s total Gross Domestic product (GDP). The textile sector will be affected as a weaker pound sterling and the euro (down 2.3% in a single day) will render Pakistan’s exports more expensive.

Amidst convoluted speculation, analysts have warned of jumping to conclusions at this time. For Pakistan, perhaps a lot will depend upon how the UK and Pakistan negotiate over duties. Exporters are worried whether Pakistan will receive the same benefits once Britain exits the EU. For this there must be a push towards negotiating better with the EU and the UK, as well as producers at home, making sure their products remain competitive. The UK was one of the main supporters within the EU that was advocating Pakistan gaining GSP Plus status. It is hoped that Brexit does not mean that we have lost a country in our corner.

The other larger issue is of visas and immigration. Many Pakistanis who work in the UK stand to lose the benefits of access to jobs and education in the EU. Additionally, with the people of UK seeming increasingly more unwelcoming to immigrants, a spillover will be seen in added restrictions and refusals of visas.

We stand at the cusp of a new world that is shunning integration, economic or otherwise. In this new regime, the strength of domestic markets will keep countries afloat. Pakistan must look inwards, to self-created self-sustainability.