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Trade deficit up by 10.68% to $22b: Govt urged to take traders in confidence on economic policies

Trade deficit up by 10.68% to $22b: Govt urged to take traders in confidence on economic policies

LAHORE: In bid to enhance export activities in the country and to overcome widening trade deficit, the government has been urged to take the business community into the confidence in preparing the policies.

All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) President Ibrahim Qureshi, in a statement, said that Pakistan trade deficit has surged by 10.68% to $22.09 billion in 2014-15 from $19.963 billion in the preceding fiscal year- the record highest trade imbalance since 1980-81 despite the government projecting a trade deficit target of $17.2 billion for the fiscal year. The record $22 billion trade gap has occurred despite the fact that Pakistan is enjoying preferential access to the EU market under GSP Plus and the interest rate is also lower at home while the oil prices are constantly declining, he added.

The APBF president lamented that the country’s exports have been stagnant at $24-25 billion for the many years. Quoting the figures, he said that during the last 30-year period (1980-2011), India’s share of exports improved from 0.43% to 1.7%; Bangladesh’s from 0.04% to 0.14%; Malaysia’s from 0.74% to 1.34% and Thailand’s from 0.37% to 1.35%.