Pakistan is set to initiate exporting goods to Central Asian States through the land route without paying any duty to Afghan authorities after amendment in the Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement, said an official of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).
The country’s exports have been on the decline for quite some time and according to the latest statistics, the country’s total exports declined by 13.26 per cent to $13.874 billion in the first eight months of the current fiscal year (July-Feb 2015-16) from $15.995 billion during the corresponding period of last year.
According to a TDAP official, the decision of the government to export goods to Central Asian States via Afghanistan under the Transit Trade Agreement would help increase the country’s exports.
He said the Ministry of Commerce signed the Convention of International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) of the United Nations (UN) two months ago after which the Afghan government allowed Pakistani truckers to move their shipments without paying any duties.
He said the Trade Ministry would soon begin major consultations with the business community and all the stakeholders to present Pakistan as a brand globally.
The business community, however, believes that the federal government and the TDAP are not doing a great job to help the exporters. The government, for example, has not launched the new trade policy even though we are well over eight months into the current financial year.
“Despite the passage of above eight months, the government has not announced the trade policy, even though it has been on the table of the prime minister for the last 45 days for final approval,” the TDAP official said.
The analysts of different brokerage house said the exporters are waiting for the incentives to be announced in the Trade policy by the government. It was the same story with the Auto Policy which the government said it would announce but never did and that really hurt the Auto sector in the country, the analyst said.
On month-on-month basis, the country’s exports increased by 1.07 per cent and stood at $1.791 billion in February 2016 compared to $1.772 billion in January 2016, data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics revealed on Friday. However, year-on year basis, the exports declined by 4.74 per cent in February 2016 compared to $1.880 billion in February 2015.
Meanwhile, the country’s total imports fell by 4.95 per cent to $28.976 billion during July-Feb this year from $30.485 billion in the same period last year.
On year-on-year basis, imports increased by 0.18 per cent in February 2016. The imports were recorded at $3.304 billion in February 2016, as compared to $3.298 billion in February 2015. On month-on-month basis, the imports of the country decreased by 5.17 per cent to $3.304 billion in February 2016 compared to $3.484 billion in January 2016.
The trade deficit in July-Feb 2015-16 increased by 4.22 per cent to $15.102 billion from $14.490 billion during the same period last year. In Feb 2016, trade deficit increased by 11.62 per cent on MoM basis due to the increasing imports.