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PR Short Notes


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Pakistan Reader# 719, 7 February 2024

First half of FY 2023-24 reflects a strong trade relationship between Pakistan and China



The surge in exports to China not only augurs well for Pakistan’s economic resilience but also signifies the growing trust and collaboration between t

Rajika Kanungo

In Focus

On 5 February, the Business Recorder cited data released by the caretaker Federal Minister for Commerce and Industries, Gohar Ejaz, as per which Pakistan’s exports to China increased during the first seven months of FY 2023-24, compared to that of the same period in FY 2022-23. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) highlighted that Pakistan's exports to China totalled USD 1481.499 million from July to December 2023, compared to USD 1058.088 million the previous year. Major exported products include rice, sesame seeds, cotton yarn, refined copper, meat, and handmade carpets.
 
According to the China-Pak Investment Corporation: “The surge in exports to China not only augurs well for Pakistan’s economic resilience but also signifies the growing trust and collaboration between the two nations through the CPEC corridor.”
 
Pakistan’s exports to China
As per the SBP, there was a 40.01 per cent increase in exports to China during the first six months of FY 2023-24, and aside from a 4.92 per cent decrease in December 2023, there was a sustained monthly increase as well. When compared to the corresponding period in FY 2022-23, there was a 42.8 per cent surge in exports from USD 190.643 million in December 2022 to USD 257.966 million in December 2023.
 
Based on figures from the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), during the first four months of FY 2023-24, Pakistan’s cumulative exports amounted to USD 1051 million. When comparing data on a monthly-basis from 2022 to 2023, in July 2023, there was a 35.1 per cent surge to reach USD 168.5 million, in August 2023, there was an 81.6 per cent surge to reach USD 211 million, in September 2023, there was a 100.5 per cent surge to reach USD 350.2 million, and in October 2023, there was a 58 per cent surge to reach USD 321.3 million. This tendency is consistent with Pakistan's overall export policy, which seeks to diversify and develop trade partnerships in order to spur economic growth. Experts noted that this data indicated strong commercial activity.
 
Pakistan’s imports from China
In contrast to the increase in exports, the imports from China to Pakistan witnessed a decrease of 1.14 per cent in the first six months of FY 2023-24. As per the SBP, imports from China during the months in consideration were at USD 5782.371 million in 2023 compared to USD 5849.382 million in 2022. There was an overall decrease of 14.69 per cent of the imports into Pakistan, from USD 29.558 billion to USD 25.41 billion. However, imports from China recorded a YoY increase of 29.51 per cent in December 2023, reflecting a continued Pakistani demand for Chinese goods in Pakistan.
 
Outcomes of Gohar Ejaz’s delegation to China
In December 2023, Ejaz led a 20-member delegation to China to discuss economic relations between the two countries and improve the trade balance. His office stated that the delegation “engaged in discussions with Chinese counterparts aimed at improving the Sino-Pak trade relations and identifying avenues for collaborative ventures.” As part of this, on 11 December, Ejaz met the chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles and the president of the COFCO group to “bolster textile trade” while focusing on “trade imbalances.” Strategies for expanding into new Chinese markets to increase Pakistani exports and simpler trade transactions were discussed. According to Ejaz, these engagements led to increased exports to China. The delegation also held business-to-business (B2B) talks, allowing Pakistani and Chinese businessmen to discuss ways to strengthen economic relations. He also emphasized the need for private-sector partnerships, particularly with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which might lead to prosperity in Pakistan.
 
References
Jul-Jan exports to China up 46pc YoY,” Business Recorder, 5 February 2024;
Pakistan’s exports to China surge by 40 percent in 6 months: SBP,” The Nation, 3 February 2024;
Aqib Shah, “PAKISTAN’S EXPORTS TO CHINA SURGE BY 40%: A SIGN OF STRENGTHENING TRADE TIES,” CPIC, 2 February 2024;
Gohar Ejaz holds meetings with Chinese businessmen to boost trade ties,” Associated Press of Pakistan, 11 December 2023;
Pakistan’s exports to China show consistent growth in FY 2023-24,” Pakistan Today, 7 November 2023

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