TRADE AND MANUFACTURING DATA FOR SELECTED COMMODITIES
BACKGROUND OF THE foreign trade IN PAKISTAN
Pakistan is a developing country in the South East where the economy is mainly based on agriculture. From 1947 to date, Pakistan has for most of the years been experiencing a trade deficit. Globalization and competition with other developing countries of the region pose a future challenge for the economy of Pakistan and the gap has consistently increased between imports and exports. Though, Pakistan has made good progress in both exports and imports but the imports has grown relatively more as compared to the exports. As a result, Pakistan is now facing trade deficit, which has become more severe with the passage of time. Generally, the balance of foreign trade has been negative throughout the history of Pakistan.
However, there has been diversification in the foreign trade policy under different regimes and Pakistan has successfully diversified export portfolio. In 1947, 99% of the exports were primarily commodities such as cotton, fish, tobacco, leather etc, whereas in 1996, basic exports made up less than 20%, which is a great achievement in exports (See Husain, 1998, p 277-281).
The export contribution mainly comes from the manufacturing industries and raw material such as food, fish and fish preparations, fruits, vegetables and spices, textile, cotton, clothing and agricultural commodities. Other exports of Pakistan are floor coverings and tape stripes, sports goods, jewellery, surgical instruments, cutlery, tobacco, furniture, chemicals and pharmaceutical products. “Pakistani government gave financial incentives to encourage the exports especially for textiles” (See Looney, 1997, p 86).
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In addition, export duties on agricultural commodities were reduced. After 1977, the exports of the Pakistan increased sharply due to an increasing trend in the world trade. Pakistan has made significant progress from primary commodities to manufactured goods in the export sector; there is especially a good progress in non-traditional exports in the period 1990 to 2000. On the import side, the consumer goods decreased from 40% to 15% in between 1947 to 1996. (See Husain, 1998, p 296-300).
On the other hand, the import bills have increased rapidly which has had a negative effect on the economy of the Pakistan. ´´Sharp increases in crude oil prices, such as those of 1979-81 and 1990, raised the nation’s import bill significantly“. In addition, government tightened the import licenses and reversed the policy for import liberalization in 1979. It affected foreign trade in a negative manner and the imports continued to exceed the exports. The narrow base exports of the country remain unchanged. Most of the decline of export commodities was in the beginning of the period 1988 due to the decrease of the prices of traditional commodities like rice, cotton and fish etc. (See Husain, 1998, p 282-298).
Pakistan is a big importer of the commodities such as minerals, fuels and lubricants, food and live animals, crude materials, animals and vegetables oils, machinery and transport, chemicals and manufactured goods. Other imports which are growing fastest nowadays are computer accessories, telecommunication equipments, military equipments and civilian aircrafts etc.
These have a significant effect on the balance of trade and the import bills are growing faster than export bills. As a result, the trade deficit of Pakistan is growing with the passage of time due to increasing gap between imports and exports of the country.
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In sum, although the exports of the country have increased but the imports also grew relatively more, especially in last two decades. The trade deficit is growing every year. This is an alarming rate for an emerging market. (UNIVERSITY)
The imports and exports of certain commodities affect the manufacturing industry. Some of the sectors/industries performances are discussed by the business councils that summarize below.
Every year Pakistan imports large number of television sets. From last many years the number of television sets imported has declined a lot, but this decline is not because of home production but because of smuggling through Afghan Transit Trade. This decline in manufacturing is also because of decline in applied tariffs. It affects not only the government revenues but also impact negatively on the performance of manufacturing sector. (COUNCIL, 2010)
PAPER AND PAPERBOARDS INDUSTRY:
Paper and Paperboard industry of Pakistan is suffering from their existence. They are unable to manufacture the quality papers, while the demand for paper is increasing continuously. Therefore Imports of paper and paper board has increased with great number. But because of decline in applied tariffs the domestic manufacturing industry’s production is almost end.
Domestic manufacturing of electric motors was very minimal till 2008, but in 2009 its production is completely finished. The reason could be the decline in the applied tariffs, the tariffs in this industry is already low but the more decline has ended up the domestic production.
The construction industry have experienced boom from 2004 to onwards. It resulted into increase in demand of ceramics that benefitted the ceramic industry by enlarge. To meet the demand Pakistan is producing in great number. Ultimately, Pakistan exports ceramics at one side and importing on the other side but still our export in this industry is greater than imports that help manufacturing industry to grow.
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Footwear industry of Pakistan is well established, its exports are always greater than imports. But from the last three years the trend of wearing the branded shoes has increased therefore the imports of footwear has also increased with great number.