There are strong indications that the export target
of $10.5 billion for the current fiscal year will be easily met as the
figures for the first six months (July-December, 2002) indicate that
exports have exceeded by $5.2 billion showing an increase of about 18
per cent over the corresponding period last year.
During the first four months of the current fiscal
(July-October, 2002) the increase registered over the corresponding four
months last year was about 15 per cent. Commenting on the performance of
the first four months the then Commerce Minister had expressed
confidence that as a result of engineering vision and Defence Products
Export Organisation set up by the government, the exports would rise by
at least 25 per cent during the current financial year and the export
target for the current year would be surpassed.
Export of manufactured goods surged by nearly 16.30
per cent to $1.71 billion during the period July-December, 2002, over
the corresponding period of previous year, according to foreign trade
figures released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics here.
A noteworthy aspect of exports is 16.40% rise in
exports of textile manufacturers, which totalled $ 3.31 billion. Their
contribution to total exports, nevertheless, dropped by 0.10% to 63.76%
during the period under review. But as a constituent of manufactured
exports, their share improved somewhat to 70.28%, up 0.16% form the
Within the textile manufactured group, the cotton
yarn exports went up 2.69% totalling 270,918 tons. But in terms of
value, foreign exchange intake declined by 0.15% in dollars and by 6.28%
in Pakistani rupee.
An increase of 12.47% is, however, reported in
exports of cotton cloth (991.618 thousand square meter). In terms of
value, however, this item fetched $627.16 million, that is 20.08% more
than during the same period of previous year. But cotton yarn and cotton
cloth are intermediate goods. Taken together, these accounted for
33.018% of total textile manufactured exports as against 35.24% during
the first half of 2002-03.
By implication, the exports of finished textile
products were on upward swing. This is true, particularly in respect of
knitwear, bedwear, towels and art. Silk & synthetic textile whose
exports (quantity-wise) soared by 32.99%, 32.31%, 9.27% and 7.55%
respectively. In value, the amounts that accrued to foreign exchange
earnings of Pakistan were $544.09 million, $576.66 million, $146.77
million and $243.35 million, respectively.
However, tents, canvas, and tarpaulin, a traditional
export group registered 0.62% decline (quantity-wise). The unexpected
development, nevertheless, is a substantial drop in export of ready made
garments (12.85%). In spite of this, their export earnings ($522.04
million) increased by 20.48% over the previous year, indicating higher
unit price fetched by these.
Another value-added item—made up article (including
other textiles)—registered 3.64% drop in its export earnings ($164.83
Other manufactures: This category constitutes a
vagary of an era when the rupee is on the upswing against US dollar. Its
export proceeds totalled $969.29 million. This shows 6.09% growth over
the corresponding period of previous year in dollars. In rupee, however,
(Rs.57.29 billion), it registered a loss of 0.12%.
Tanned leather and leather manufactures ($110.79
million and $210.76 million, respectively) accounted for 33.18% of the
contribution of other manufactures, down from 36.75% of previous year.
Exports of sports goods surged by 12.76%. This was
due to miscellaneous items only, because the exports of footballs and
gloves declined by 7.19% and 3.59% respectively.
Chemicals and pharmaceutical products group with
exports worth $115.87 million, surged ahead with a growth rate of over
75%. Times are not favourable to other traditional exports, e.g.
carpets, surgical goods and medical instruments and milasses which
declined (in dollars) by 9.34%, 1.21% and 43.49%, respectively.
The others category recorded a 45.58% spurt. With
exports totalling $428.86 million, their share in total exports jumped
from 6.59% to 8.25%.
Primary commodities: Their exports totalled $485.5
million 20.11% more than last year. Despite quantitiative decline of
15.44% rice scored an increase of 3.15 in dollars. The quantity of rice
exported during the period under review was 720,563 tons.
The country also exported 31,896 tons of raw cotton.
The figures show a decline in unit price to a significant extent $768
per ton as against previous year's $880 per ton.
Pakistan also exported 674,766 tons of wheat during
the 6 months period under review which also saw significant decline in
exports of fisheries, fruits and vegetables.
For the first time in decades the government seems to
be in the right direction for export diversification.
According to the Finance Minister, the country
imported textile machinery worth one billion dollars during the last two
years, which is reflective of balancing and modernization efforts going
on in the sector and hopefully expansion of the capacity would lead
towards more exports. However, no genuine breakthrough in exports is
possible without diversification of our export base and production.