Daily Briefs

Photo : Dawn

5 March 2020, Thursday

26.5 per cent drop in trade deficit

China to assist Pakistan in combating the menace of the locust by providing 50 drones 

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In brief

26.5 per cent drop in trade deficit
Lakshmi V Menon

On March 3 2020, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics stated that during the first eight months of the current fiscal year Pakistan’s trade deficit dropped by 26.5 percent, standing at $15.77bn from $21.46bn during the previous year’s corresponding period. To tackle demand slump and foreign exchange reserve issues, corrective measures were undertaken by the government, leading to a double-digit decline in imports resulting in the trade deficit drop. From $2.26bn in February 2019, it reduced to $1.9bn in February 2020 (reflecting a 14.6 percent drop). (Dawn, March 5 2020)

According to the Ministry of Commerce, the annual trade deficit may reduce from $31bn in FY2019 to $19bn in FY2020. As of the first eight months of the present FY, imports were standing at $31.42bn; 14.06percent lesser than $36.56bn during FY2019’s parallel period. Similarly, value of imported goods went from $4.14bn in February 2019 to $4.07bn in February 2020; experiencing a 1.71 percent drop. However, over the same period, value of exports increased from $1.88bn to $2.14bn; reflecting an increase of 13.82 percent. Services export peaked by 5.18 percent recording $5.37bn in 2018-19 from $5.28bn over the previous year. In January 2020, on a year-on-year basis, import of services stood at $678.2m; reflecting a drop of 2.99percent.

In brief
China to assist Pakistan in combating the menace of the locust by providing 50 drones 
Abigail Miriam Fernandez

China has agreed to assist Pakistan to combat the problem of the locust by providing five-million-dollar worth technical support along with 50 drones and 300,000 litres of pesticides to carry out spray in affected areas of Sindh, Balochistan and, Punjab. The Secretary of National Food Security and Research Muhammad Hashim Popalzai told reporters that the Chinese government had decided to send drones urgently, and the first batch of drones would reach Pakistan on March 9. Further, he stated that the Chinese authorities will also be sending technical staff to carry out the operation and train staff of the Plant Protection Department and other departments. (DAWN, 5 March 2020)

The above agreement comes after the Chinese technical team completed its two-week mission to Pakistan and left for Beijing on 4 March 2020. The team had visited the locust-affected areas of Sindh, Balochistan and, Punjab and had final wrap-up meetings at the ministry of national food security and the national disaster management authority.

Locust attacks have caused serious damage to agro-pastoral resources in Pakistan. Desert locust has become an international trans-boundary concern with major economic, social and environmental implications. This assistance comes as a part of solidifying the national action plan to combat this issue.

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