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Last update: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 01pm

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The government's prime economic focus is to sustain stable external account till the elections. The slippage in fiscal account can be taken care by domestic central bank financing for the time being. Introducing a lavish export package is a demonstration of that approach as up to Rs180 billion can hurt fiscal deficit in coming eighteen months in hopes of earning some foreign exchange. Latest current account numbers for the first half of FY17 show a slip of 92 percent to $3.6 billion; up from 1.3 percent of the GDP to 2.2 percent. The picture is bleak.
These are not boring times. Things seem to be changing, and uncertainty rising, at a pace not seen since the 9/11 tragedy. And the source that personifies much of the global anxiety is Donald Trump. Thanks to Americas global footprint, very few corners of the world are immune to the Trump thought-process on Twitter. Days away from taking presidential oath, he has upped his criticism of just about everyone.
Finally, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PSX: PPL) announced its FY16 financial performance, and to no one's surprise, the oil and gas exploration and production company posted a decline in earnings for the year - bitten largely by low crude oil prices.
Continuing our conversation on textile machinery imports (see yesterday's column), today's article looks at some underlying issues that have gone unsaid.
Gwadar is happening. Just how soon is the question, the answer to which is not the easiest to find. Anyone who has visited the serene beach town five years from today would agree that much has changed. But for anyone coming to Gwadar with an expectation of a city bustling with activities, and crowded roads, it might be a dampener.
The cement industry is chugging forward into a bonanza of historic high dispatches, gross margins and profits, in spite of the sharp fall in exports to its key markets such as Afghanistan and South Africa.
Fetching foreign direct investment has become arduous for Pakistan, and the slithering numbers month over month are a clear evidence of that. Net FDI for FY16 was a mere 40 percent of what it was back in FY07. Expectations however, spiked with the signing of CPEC. But these expectations have materialized meagerly. Moreover, the debate over whether to quantify CPEC inflows as loans or FDI is being mulled over by the market, and now the authorities as well.