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Current account deficit shrinks by $2 bn in February

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), exports from the country in rupee terms witnessed an increase of 32.77 percent during the first eight months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year.

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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday announced on Twitter that the efforts to contain the current account deficit have proven worthwhile.

The Prime Minister added that the deficit had shrunk to only $0.5 billion in February, a steep decline compared to January, in which the country recorded a current account deficit of $2.5 billion – 12 times higher than that of January 2021. The Prime Minister added that February 2022 recorded the “lowest monthly deficit so far of this fiscal year” and witnessed a “$2 billion” decrease in the current account deficit as compared to January.

The current account deficit is the difference between a country’s expenditure against its income.

In his tweet, the Prime Minister further added that the exports had reached an all-time high whereas the imports were “down by 21 percent from their peak”. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), exports from the country in rupee terms witnessed an increase of 32.77 percent during the first eight months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year.

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According to PBS provisional figures, the exports during July-February (2021-22) were recorded at Rs 3,520,242 million against Rs 2,651,319 million during July- February 2020-21. Exports for February witnessed a 51.2 percent increase. In February 2021, the exports amounted to Rs. 329,033 million, whereas in February 2022, the exports soared to Rs. 497,602.

Pakistan has taken several steps to incentivize the export of various products and, consequently, witnessed a persistent growth in the number of export commodities. Pakistan’s telecommunication sector is also set to become a net exporter of mobile products in the coming months. In recent months the export of mobile products ramped up as a result of the “Make in Pakistan” policy introduced by the government.

Pakistan, which had been a net importer of mobile products, produced 18.87 million mobile units, including 7.93 Million 4G mobile phones compared to 9.45 million imported mobile phones during the period of January to October 2021. Many international mobile brands, as a result, entered the Pakistani market, with the most recent being RealMe, which started producing mobiles locally at their unit in Lahore, Pakistan.

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Pakistan’s textile industry also reached new heights when it recorded exports of Rs. 1.55 billion in the month of January 2022. Moreover, on the recommendation of the National E-Commerce Council, it removed restrictions on foreign exchange and exempted IT companies and freelancers from paying capital gains tax. Following the development, Pakistan now eyes $50 billion worth of IT exports in the next few years.