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ISLAMABAD: The country's trade deficit has widened by 20.1 per cent to $23.562 billion during first 10 months (July-April) of Financial Year 2020-21 from $19.613 billion in the

corresponding period of 2019-20.

According to provisional foreign trade data of PRAL, exports grew by $2.471 billion or 13.4 per cent to $20.879 billion during July-April 2020-21 as compared to $18.408 billion in the same period of 2019-20.

However, imports posted a growth of $6.420 billion or 16.9 per cent to $44.441 billion during first ten months of current fiscal year as compared to $38.021 billion in the same period of 2019-20.

The country's exports have shown a growth of 129 per cent to $2.191 billion in April 2021 as compared to 957 millions in April 2020. Prime Minister Advisor on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, maintains that April 2020 exports cannot be taken as a yardstick as at that time the country was under lockdown due to Covid-19.

Imports have posted growth of 53.6 per cent to $4.922 billion in April 2021 against $3.204 billion in corresponding month of FY 2020.

Trade deficit has also posted a growth of 21.5 per cent to $ 2.731 billion in April 2021 from $2.247 billion in April 2020, indicating a difference of $484 million.

On Sunday, Abdul Razak Dawood, in his tweet said: "Alhamdulliah, Pakistan's exports for April 2021 stood at $2.191 billion, adding that this is the first time since 2011 that our monthly exports have crossed the $2 billion mark for seven consecutive months."

He further stated that Pakistani exporters deserve full credit for making this possible under testing global times. Analysts argue that exports can touch or cross $25 billion mark this year, a high last achieved in financial year 2012. However, if the European Union (EU) withdraws GSP + status, then it will be very difficult to achieve $25 billion mark.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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