Make-up of exports changing gradually

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 August, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 August, 2000, 12:00am

Pakistan's exports still rely heavily on primary commodities to generate foreign exchange, but the composition has been slowly changing.

The State Bank of Pakistan, says in a report that the share of manufactured goods in the country's exports has been 'continuously rising', while there has been a decline in shares of primary and semi-manufactured goods.

'During the first three quarters (July-March) of the current fiscal year, the share of manufactured goods moved up by 2 percentage points to 72 per cent, while the share of semi-manufactures has dropped by 3 percentage points from 18 to 15 per cent,' the report says. Exports of manufactured and semi-manufactured goods accounted for 87 per cent of the total exports, while primary commodities accounted for 13 per cent.

The report notes however, that Pakistan's manufactured exports 'have remained heavily dominated by labour-intensive goods - especially textiles and clothing', over the past 25 years.

Still, the export base is narrow and go to a few countries. The central bank points out that the export base needs to be diversified.

More than half of Pakistan's ex ports go to seven countries - the United States, Germany, Japan, Britain, Hong Kong, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. While the share of Pakistan's exports to the US has been rising, sales to Japan have declined continuously. 'The share of exports to Germany, Britain, Hong Kong, Dubai and Saudi Arabia remained almost stagnant with minor fluctuations,' the central bank report says. Pakistan's imports are also from a few countries. About 49 per cent of imports are from the US, Japan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Britain and Malaysia.