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Pakistan and global export review

The World Trade Organization (WTO) revealed that the world trade will continue to face strong headwinds in the year 2019 and 2020 after growing more slowly than predicted during last year because of rising trade tensions and increased economic unrest. WTO experts estimate merchandise trade volume growth to decline to 2.6 percent in 2019 — down from 3.0 percent in 2018. Trade growth could then rebound to 3.0 percent in 2020; however, this is dependent on an easing of trade tensions. Statistics also identified that trade growth in 2020 is expected to out-pace GDP growth due to faster GDP growth in developing states. Trade tensions still pose the greatest risk to the forecast, but a relaxation could provide some upside potential. The value of merchandise trade was up 10 percent to US$ 19.48 trillion during 2018, partly because of higher energy rates.

Pakistan Exports
S.No. Commodities % Change for value in million Rupees in August, 2019 over
July, 2019 August, 2018
Readymade Garments
Bed wear
Cotton Cloth
Cotton yarn
Rice others
Rice Basmati
Madeup articles (excl. towels & bedwear)
Surgical Goods & Medical Instruments

In the developing countries such as Pakistan, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) calculated that exports from Pakistan during August, 2019 is worth Rs. 293,933 million (provisional) as compared to Rs. 300,875 million (provisional) in July, 2019 and Rs. 249,240 million during August, 2018 explaining a fall of 2.31 percent over July, 2019 but a rise of 17.93 percent over August, 2018. In terms of US dollars the exports in August, 2019 was $1,859 million (provisional) as against to $1,894 million (provisional) during July, 2019 explaining a fall of 1.85 percent and by 7.65 percent as against to $2,013 million in August, 2018. Furthermore, exports during July-August, 2019 totaled Rs. 594,808 million (provisional) as compared to Rs. 452,892 million during the same period of previous year explaining a rise of 31.34 percent. In terms of US dollars the exports during July-August, 2019 totaled $3,753 million (provisional) as compared to $3,651 million during the same period of previous year explaining a rise of 2.79 percent. The commodities wise statistics also showed that main commodities of exports during August, 2019 were Knitwear (Rs. 44,054 million), Readymade garments (Rs. 37,261 million), Bed wear (Rs. 32,549 million), Cotton cloth (Rs. 27,991 million), Cotton yarn (Rs. 17,282 million), Rice others (Rs. 12,739 million), Towels (Rs. 9,686 million), Rice Basmati (Rs. 9,130 million), Made-up articles (excl. towels & bed wear) (Rs. 8,528 million) and Surgical Goods & Medical Instruments (Rs. 5,971 million). International experts also analyzed that though the value of exports of goods and services from developing countries has grown notably since 2000, this growth has not outpaced the developed world. Developing countries’ share in worldwide exports has not grown since 2012. The growth of global exports has leveled off since 2012 and the same is true for the developing states. During 2018, the total value of exports originating from developing states was 4.3 times higher than in 2000. Developing countries’ share of worldwide exports of goods and services has increased from 29.7 percent in 2000 to 41.5 percent in 2012 and has leveled off since.


Looking at the trade in goods, developing states’ share in world exports of goods has plateaued at just above 44 percent since 2012. In the developing economies of Africa, the 2017 upswing in world trade manifested itself in export growth; African exports grew by 18 percent compared with the previous year, and by 14 percent during 2018. Statistics also showed that during 2018, developing economies’ share of world services exports (US$5.8 trillion) was 29.7 percent (US$1.7 trillion), while exports from developed economies were worth at US$4.0 trillion. Since 2000, growth has been significant when they accounted for 21 percent (US$0.35 trillion). The top five services exporters, China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and the Republic of Korea, account for half of developing economies’ services exports.

Exports (%)
Details 2018Q2 2018Q3 2018Q4 2019Q1
World -0.4 0.4 0.4 -0.1
North America -1.5 1.0 0.2 0.9
Europe -0.7 -0.1 0.3 -1.8
Asia 0.5 0.4 1.1 1.7
Other 1.5 2.1 -1.1 2.3

During 2017, developing states shipped most of their exports to USA (US$1.3 trillion), China (US$1.0 trillion) and other Asian economies. For LDCs, the top export destination was China. LDCs in Africa and Haiti delivered goods worth US$28 billion to China, more than to any other economy in the world. Exports of LDCs in Asia were more oriented towards the European Union and the United States of America.

Sources also urged that the significance of the European Union as a trading partner for LDCs in Asia has increased significantly since the turn of the century. China has taken a first position in trade with LDCs in Africa and Haiti, while its trade with the United States’ has declined over the last 10-years. Intra-regional trade is also high for LDCs from East Asia and the Pacific, and low but growing for LDCs from most other regions.

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