Pakistan's textile and garment exports jumped 22.94% to reach $15.4 billion in Fiscal Year 2020-21, according to data from Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. At the same time, the country's technology exports surged 47% to set a new record of $2.12 billion for the last fiscal year that ended in June 2021. Pharmaceutical exports also saw 25.3% growth to $241 million in first 11months of FY 2021, indicating Pakistan's export diversification with higher value added goods and services.
|Pakistan Textile/Apparel Exports. Source: Arif Habib Ltd|
|Pakistan Textile Exports FY 2006-2021. Source: APTMA|
Overall, Pakistan's exports of goods for fiscal 2020-21 rose 13.7% to $25.63 billion. The nation's service exports increased 9.2% to $5.93 billion in fiscal 2021. Combined exports of goods and services added up to $31.56 billion in July 2020 to June 2021 period.
|Pakistan Tech Exports. Source: Arif Habib Ltd.|
Imports grew 23.2%, much faster than exports as the economy recovered from the COVID-induced slump, widening the trade gap in the process. Energy demand drove imports of oil and gas to new highs.
|Pakistan Current Account Balance. Source: Arif Habib Ltd.|
Record inflow of nearly $30 billion in remittances from overseas Pakistanis helped reduce the current account deficit to $1.85 billion in FY 2020-21. It's down 58.4% from $4.45 billion in FY 2019-20.
Overseas Pakistanis' remittances represent 10% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). This money helps the nation cope with its perennial current account deficits. It also provides a lifeline for millions of Pakistani families who use the money to pay for food, education, healthcare and housing. This results in an increase in stimulus spending that has a multiplier effect in terms of employment in service industries ranging from retail sales to restaurants and entertainment.
Over 10 million Pakistanis are currently working/living overseas, according to the Bureau of Emigration. Before the COVID19 pandemic hit in 2020, more than 600,000 Pakistanis left the country to work overseas in 2019. The average yearly outflow of Pakistani workers to OECD countries (mainly UK and US) and the Middle East has been over half a million in the last decade.
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