Pakistan's export sector has shown impressive growth in the first two months of the fiscal year 2023-24, with exports reaching a substantial milestone of Rs1.27 trillion.
According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), between July and August 2023, the country's exports surged by 22.45%, marking a significant increase from Rs1.04 trillion during the same period last year.
In August 2023 alone, exports grew by 26.75% on a year-on-year basis, totaling Rs695.1 billion compared to Rs548.4 billion in August 2022. This growth trend a month-on-month basis, with a 19.62% increase in exports compared to July 2023, which recorded Rs581.1 billion.
The leading export commodity during this period was knitwear, contributing significantly with exports amounting to Rs117.8 billion. These positive export figures are a welcome development for Pakistan, as they are expected to bolster the country's dwindling foreign exchange reserves. Pakistan has been facing economic challenges, including a depreciating rupee and a need to stabilize its foreign exchange position.
Conversely, during July and August 2023, imports registered a slight decrease of 2.42%, amounting to Rs2.3 trillion compared to Rs2.4 trillion during the same period last year. Imports in August 2023 were led by petroleum products valued at Rs180.6 billion, followed by crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Rs119.4 billion and Rs89.8 billion, respectively.
On a year-on-year basis, imports in August 2023 declined by 0.5% compared to August 2022, but on a month-on-month basis, imports surged by 27.79% in August 2023 when compared to July 2023.
This export growth is seen as a positive sign for Pakistan's economy, contributing to efforts to stabilize the country's economic situation. Former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had previously highlighted the importance of export-oriented foreign direct investments (FDIs) as a key driver for economic revival, and these export figures indicate a step in the right direction for Pakistan's economic recovery.