Thursday December 07, 2023

Lack of vision

March 20, 2023

Pakistan’s total exports of goods and services have remained stagnant at an average of around $30 billion annually for the last decade or so. In spite of tall claims and high target settings each year, the government has not been successful in increasing exports significantly in value and in volume. The static trend in exports is likely to continue as there seems to be no sign of improvement in the near future given the adverse economic conditions and political instability. In fact, exports have been gradually declining as a percentage of GDP.

There are a variety of factors behind the dismal export performance, which include poor governance, low productivity, high cost of production and obsolete technology, besides the fact that export promotion has never been a priority for any government. Most importantly, the lack of vision in terms of increasing exports in the long-term leads the government to pass counterproductive and myopic policies. To effectively compete in the highly competitive and fast-moving global economy, it is imperative that the government work out a multi-pronged strategy to gradually replace traditional items of raw materials and intermediate goods with value-added engineering goods as the country’s main exports.

Hussain Siddiqui