PAKISTAN'S EXPORTS AND TDAP'S ROLE

S.M.ABBAS ZAIDI,
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Research Analyst
, PAGE
Sep 13 - 26, 2010

Pakistan's exports increased more than 100 per cent from $7.5 billion in 1999 to $19.5 billion in the financial year 2009-2010. An overall increase of three to four per cent in exports may be witnessed in FY11.

Exports from Pakistan include rice, furniture, cotton fiber, cement, tiles, marble, textiles, clothing, leather goods, sports goods (renowned for footballs/soccer balls), surgical instruments, electrical appliances, software, carpets, and rugs, ice cream, livestock meat, chicken, powdered milk, wheat, seafood (especially shrimp/prawns), vegetables, processed food items, assembled cars, defense equipment (submarines, tanks, radars), salt, marble, onyx, engineering goods, cement, and many other items. Pakistan now is internationally recognised for producing and exporting cements in Asia and Mid-East.

RECENT EXPORTS

Exports from Pakistan during July 2010 amounted to Rs152,872 million (provisional) as against Rs155,164 million (provisional) in June 2010 and Rs120,351 million during July 2009 showing a decrease of 1.48 per cent over June 2010 but an increase of 27.02 per cent over July 2009.

In terms of US dollars the exports decreased by 1.73 per cent in July 2010 to $1,787,912 thousands (provisional) when compared with $1,819,372 thousands (provisional) in June 2010 but increased by 21.83 per cent as compared to $1,467,590 thousands in July 2009.

Main commodities of exports during July 2010 were knitwear (Rs15,826 million), bed wear (Rs14,698 million), cotton cloth (Rs14,371 million), readymade garments (Rs12,819 million), rice others (Rs11,044 million), cotton yarn (Rs9,014 million), rice basmati (Rs7,537 million), towels (Rs5,303 million), made-up articles (excl. towels, bed wear) (Rs4,406 million) and art, silk and synthetic textile (Rs4,292 million).

ROLE OF TDAP

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) is a body established at 8th November 2006, under a Presidential Ordinance. Set up in 1963 as an attached department of the ministry of commerce, the export promotion bureau (EPB), old name of TDAP, facilitated exporters across the country, helping them overcome challenges by leveraging opportunities on the supply and demand side. It funded initiatives, and assisted in establishing common facilities with stakeholders.

Over the 47 year, EPB played a critical role in helping exporters to participate in 30 to 80 exhibitions abroad each year. It regularly sent and received between 20 and 40 business delegations each year to and from export destinations to explore new markets and enhance market share through sustainable growth and diversification. EPB supported the development of equal number of trade policies implementing the consequential initiatives it was assigned. Its role in textile quota management is especially significant. It has issued millions of GSP certificates and management of gold and jewelry export regulations. More than 20,000 exporters have been facilitated and part-funded to exhibit and grow their exports; over 2,000 delegates have been sent or hosted.

The setup of the Expo Centre in Karachi, and now in Lahore, is a milestone in assisting exports, managing Pakistan's image and providing the country and the cities of Karachi and Lahore significant new economic opportunities. The organisation has carried out mega export promotional activities, within and outside Pakistan, hosted individually and also in coordination with trade bodies. On supply side, EPB established over 22 training institutes and projects in various export sectors to train necessary work force to manage the export trade. It has provided the forum for exporters and importers dispute resolution through the mechanism of commercial courts in collaboration with the judiciary.

CUMULATIVE EXPORTS BY MAJOR COUNTRIES (MN RS)

COUNTRIES

JUL-2009 TO FEB-2010

JUL-2008 TO FEB-2009

VALUE % SHARE VALUE % SHARE
USA 179,220.55 17.45 174,126.22 18.70
Afghanistan 82,513.12 8.03 76,027.07 8.16
UAE 82,262.90 8.01 79,396.69 8.53
China 66,712.41 6.49 32,882.37 3.53
UK 57,015.71 5.55 44,585.63 4.79
Germany 42,895.11 4.18 39,642.47 4.26
Italy 32,413.33 3.16 30,005.07 3.22
Turkey 26,258.95 2.56 21,486.44 2.31
Spain 23,817.76 2.32 21,759.51 2.34
Bangladesh 22,834.40 2.22 20,939.03 2.25

Another contribution of EPB, was to provide Pakistan with its first ever export strategy and a roadmap for export growth.

The significance of EPB's achievements in more than four decades is evident from the significant rise in exports. Pakistan's exports reported at just under quarter of a billion dollar, increased by over 70 fold since 1963, to touch nearly US$18.5 billion in 2007-08. The growth in the last 7 years alone has been US$ 8.68 billion i.e. 112 per cent more than 1998-99 (US$7.78 billion). On July, 2010, TDAP claimed credit for having driven Pakistan's exports to achieve its highest ever export performance in the outgoing fiscal year 2009/10, with exports expecting to reach US$19.5 billion. This achievement was possible thanks to the new export diversification policy adopted by the agency.

CONCLUSION

Certain products of Pakistan maintain a better export quality because of good policies. For example, black soft leather holds vast markets in European and American countries. In many countries, Pakistan's products are facing vigorous competition. To retain competitive edge in the traditional markets and to acquire the same in the new markets, emphasis should be on quality, modernisation, and innovation in exports.