LAHORE: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FPCCI) Businessmen Panel chairman Mian Anjum Nisar has warned of a much higher trade deficit during the current fiscal year, compared with the targeted deficit of $28.4 billion fixed by the government, a statement said on Saturday.
Nisar said that the country’s July-August trade deficit has widened 120 per cent to $7.5 billion after imports witnessed a new historic peak, with exports growth not matching the pace, despite a huge depreciation in the rupee value against the dollar.
“Our exports are around $2 billion/month and the trend continues, despite around 40 per cent currency depreciation during the last three years. Rising imports will not only increase the external borrowing requirements but also dent the foreign exchange reserves.”
“The exports are not matching the pace of imports, while the foreign remittances, which are [an] important source of debt-free financing, are expected to grow in a single-digit,” he added.
The FPCCI former president said the previous current account surplus was due to sustained increase in remittances and a smaller trade deficit.
“To achieve consistency in that trend for a long period without compromising on the industrial growth, the government will have to focus on increasing the exports further and put the business and trade issues on priority,” he said, adding that the government had already missed its annual exports target, requiring at least 6 per cent growth.
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