Daily Times | 4 November 2007
Trade with China: Pakistan suffers trade deficit of $2.957bn
By Sajid Chaudhry
ISLAMABAD: Trading with China has given Pakistan a trade deficit of $2.957 billion during the fiscal year 2006-07, Daily Times found out on Saturday.
Pakistan’s exports to China amounted to $575.903 million as compared to the imports from China of $3.533 billion leaving a trade deficit of $2.957 billion during July-June period of the last fiscal year.
The figures are based on trade under Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and an Early Harvest Programme leading to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries and now both the countries have entered into a FTA operational with effect from July 1, 2007.
According to details regarding the bilateral trade, Pakistan has been unable to benefit the trade with its friendly neighbour China as Pakistan has suffered a trade deficit of $7.552 billion during the last four fiscal years (2003-2007). During the last four years Pakistan’s total exports to China amounted to $1.682 billion as against the imports from China worth $9.233 billion during 2003-07.
According to yearly details of bilateral trade for the fiscal year 2005-06, total exports to China were $463.919 million as compared to imports of $2.705 billion projecting a trade deficit of $2.242 billion.
A trade deficit of $1.488 billion was the result of bilateral trade during the fiscal year 2004-05 when Pakistan’s exports amounted to $354.092 million as compared to the imports worth $1.842 billion from China in this fiscal year.
By the end of fiscal year 2003-04 Pakistan’s exports to China were $288.259 million and imports from China stood at $1.153 billion, which resulted into a trade deficit of $865.211 million.
Five-Year Development Programme on Trade and Economic Cooperation between Pakistan and China signed between the two countries seeks further liberalisation of bilateral trade under FTA and taking bilateral trade to about $15 billion by the fifth year of five-year programme 2007-2011. The five-year programme is expected to continuously deepen and give major boost to China-Pakistan bilateral and economic cooperation and trade.
By the fiscal year 2010-11 Pakistan’s exports to China would be $15 billion. Special Chinese Economic Zones are being set up in Pakistan to allow Chinese investors to set up export-oriented industries and tap potential of the local market as well as regional exports markets.
An understanding reached between the two countries reveals that bilateral trade between China and Pakistan would be made equally beneficial and both the countries would ensure equal amount of imports as well as exports. Some key importers from China have recently visited Pakistan and had held negotiations with local producers of raw materials as well as semi-finished products so that imports from Pakistan are enhanced to equalise the trade balance between the two countries.