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Foreign Trade in Figures

Despite economic and political difficulties, Pakistan has taken steps to liberalise its trade and investment framework as part of commitments made with the WTO, IMF and the World Bank. Nevertheless, the share of foreign trade in Pakistan's GDP continues to be low, at 27% (World Bank, latest data available). Textile products account by far for the largest share of exports (around 60%, mostly comprising linen, clothing and cotton, making the country the 9th textile exporter in the world), followed by rice (4.877 million tons, valued at USD 2.51 billion in FY2022). In regards to imports, the largest items are petroleum products, followed by palm oil, telephones and coal (Comtrade).

The United States is the top destination for Pakistani exports (21.1%, mainly textile), followed by China (10.5%), the United Kingdom (7.3%), and Germany (5.4%). China is by far the largest supplier of goods and services in Pakistan (28.3%), ahead of the United Arab Emirates (10.1%), Indonesia (5.8%), the United States (5.3%), and Saudi Arabia (5.2%). The free trade agreement (FTA) with China impacted Pakistani manufacturing exports, which have declined in recent years, and local businesses worry the completion of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor would further increase the share of Chinese products in the domestic market. Click here for an overview of Pakistan’s free trade agreements.
 
Pakistan's trade structure has been structurally in deficit: in 2021, imports of goods reached the record level of USD 72.5 billion (+58.3% year-on-year), while exports grew at a slower pace (+28.9%), totalling USD 28.3 billion. Concerning the trade of services, imports reached USD 9.8 billion, whereas exports amounted to USD 6.5 billion. For the same year, the World Bank estimated the country’s trade deficit at 8.9% of GDP (from 8.1% one year earlier). The latest figures from the Bureau of Statistics show that in the fiscal year 2022 (July ’21-June ’22), exports of goods reached USD 31.7 billion (+25.5% y-o-y), against USD 80 billion in imports (+42% y-o-y).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 57,74660,07850,33245,80472,515
Exports of Goods (million USD) 21,72523,42523,32921,96128,319
Imports of Services (million USD) 9,85811,1309,7247,3069,806
Exports of Services (million USD) 3,9144,6954,6564,3786,498

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 25.527.628.926.727.1
Trade Balance (million USD) -29,594-31,911-22,881-22,172-37,518
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -35,007-37,648-27,306-24,765-40,826
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 19.015.77.6-5.114.5
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.510.013.21.56.5
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 17.319.019.517.418.0
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 8.28.69.49.39.1

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20222023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 4.2-3.815.48.86.3
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 6.3-20.69.96.16.0

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Pakistan does not belong to any Customs Union.

It is a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Pakistan has signed Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with nearly 40 countries. It has also signed ‘Double Taxation Agreements’ with nearly 50 countries.

The country has signed a trade agreement with 21 other countries in the São Paulo Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).

For more details, visit:

Pakistani Government

Pakistani state

Federal Board of Revenue

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2021
United States 21.1%
China 10.5%
United Kingdom 7.3%
Germany 5.4%
Netherlands 4.9%
See More Countries 50.8%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2021
China 28.3%
United Arab Emirates 10.1%
Indonesia 5.8%
United States 5.3%
Saudi Arabia 5.2%
See More Countries 45.4%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

28.8 bn USD of products exported in 2021
Bedlinen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen...Bedlinen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen of all types of textile materials (excl. floorcloths, polishing cloths, dishcloths and dusters) 14.8%
Men's or boys' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers,...Men's or boys' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (excl. knitted or crocheted, wind-jackets and similar articles, separate waistcoats, tracksuits, ski suits and swimwear) 9.5%
RiceRice 7.5%
Cotton yarn other than sewing thread, containing >...Cotton yarn other than sewing thread, containing >= 85% cotton by weight (excl. that put up for retail sale) 4.0%
Woven fabrics of cotton, containing >= 85% cotton...Woven fabrics of cotton, containing >= 85% cotton by weight and weighing > 200 g/m² 3.0%
See More Products 61.1%
72.9 bn USD of products imported in 2021
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 11.0%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 6.3%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 5.8%
Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined...Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 4.7%
Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic...Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic uses; antisera and other blood fractions and immunological products, whether or not modified or obtained by means of biotechnological processes; vaccines, toxins, cultures of micro-organisms (excl. yeasts) and similar products 4.5%
See More Products 67.9%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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