WTO Director General met with officials in the government on Monday and said what everyone already knows: that Pakistan has great export potential if it overcame the energy crisis, focused on competitiveness, diversified its export base and lowered cost of doing business.
Could it be true? Is the benchmark stock exchange finally going to cross the all time high it made last year? Well, it appears so. Just until a few weeks, market participants were bemoaning about the brooding political crisis emerging from Panama Leaks. But the last seven days seems to suggest that Panama is now history even as "jalsas" strike the heart and the capital of Pakistan.
Pakistan is about to start its mango export season, and chances are that this year will bring mixed blessings for the sector. The official mango export season traditionally starts during the third week of May and according to experts, Punjab is expecting above average produce of mango, while the produce in Sindh has suffered quite a lot due to climatic changes and infestations.
The country's cement sector concluded a solid year of growing dispatches in FY15 and ten months into the current fiscal, it is set to record even higher quantum of sales this year. While exports of cement have been on a steady downtrend, the initial woes over rising international competition and higher trade barriers have more recently been replaced with a preference for local sales.
As if things werent bad enough as it is, an enormous cotton shortage this year is adding to the miseries of Pakistans textile industry. The outgoing season has brought just over 10 million bales - a decline of more than 34 percent year-on-year. The loss of 5.1 million bales amounts to Rs200 billion, and thousands of farmers in the cotton belt have gone bankrupt, as per a statement made by PCGA two weeks ago.
Getting a ride has surely picked up a notch as three online car services take the streets of Lahore. First Careem - a Dubai-based online car service was launched in October last year, and then Uber and the now Turkish A-Taxi has entered as alternate modes of transport this year.
Two months ago, the federal government promised the IMF that it would continue to strengthen policy coordination between federal and provincial governments, and modernize the GST on goods and services in close coordination with provincial revenue authorities. Yet, with just about a month until budget FY17, the situation on the ground remains rife with coordination problems.