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September 12, 2019

Pakistan among top five remittance recipients in region: ADB

Business

September 12, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan has emerged as the top five recipients of remittances in the region last year, but the country’s exports dropped to 8.5 percent of GDP from double digit in almost over a decade, the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) said in a latest report.

“The region’s top five recipients of remittances in 2018 were India ($78.6 billion), China ($67.4 billion), the Philippines ($33.8 billion), Pakistan ($21 billion), and Viet Nam ($15.9 billion),” the ADB said in its 50th edition of key indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2019.

In 2018, exports accounted for 8.5 percent of ADB compared with 13.5 percent in 2010, 14.3 percent in 2005 and 12.1 percent in 2000. Imports of goods and services accounted for 19.4 percent of GDP in 2018 compared with 13.2 percent in 2000.

The Manila-based lender said industrial value-addition in the country has been lurking around five to six percent in the last 18 years. Growth rate of the industry real value-addition stood at 5.8 percent last year compared with 5.4 percent in 2017, 5.7 percent in 2016, 5.2 percent in 2015, 4.5 percent in 2014, 0.8 percent in 2013, 3.4 percent in 2010, 6.5 percent in 2005, and 5.8 percent in 2000.

Pakistan is among the top 10 countries in the region with highest numbers of companies that are asked to grease palm to get things done. A quarter of Pakistani firms experience at least one bribe payment request, preceded by Mongolia, Tajikistan, Lao PDR, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kyrgyz Republic, and Cambodia, according to the report, drawing percentage based on economy data for the most recent years from 2009 to 2018.

ADB said proportion of employed population living below the international poverty line has significantly dropped in the last almost two decades. Less than five percent of the employed population composed of the segment last year as opposed to more than 25 percent a year earlier.

ADB said Pakistan was also among the countries that received the largest amounts of financial and technical assistance. The largest amounts of average annual financial and technical assistance, during 2009–2017, went to Afghanistan ($1.405 billion), Indonesia ($1.310 billion), and Pakistan ($894 million).

“From 2000–2008 to 2009–2017, the value of average financial and technical assistance more than doubled in 14 of the 41 reporting economies,” ADB said. “In absolute terms, the largest increases occurred in Afghanistan ($843 million), Indonesia ($669 million), and Pakistan ($529 million).”

ADB said proportion of population with primary reliance on clean fuels and energy increased to 45 percent from 25 percent from 2000 to 2017. Although proportion of population with primary reliance on clean fuels and technology increased, renewable energy share in total final energy consumption decreased to 45.6 percent in 2017 from 51 percent in 2000. The country of 213 million population recorded more than two percent growth rate in the last eight years.

ADB said the economies with the lowest proportions of forested land to total land in 2016 were Nauru (0.0pc), Kazakhstan (1.2pc), and Pakistan (1.9pc). The highest levels of air pollution in urban areas were found in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, ADB said.

ADB further said the highest rates of undernourishment in 2017 were observed in Afghanistan (29.8pc), Timor-Leste, (24.9pc), and Pakistan (20.3pc). Although prevalence of undernourishment dropped during the two decades, it has been paltry drop to 20 percent of the population in 2017 from around 25 percent in 2000.

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