ISLAMABAD: President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Ghazanfar Bilour expressing his serious concern over the continuous drastic increase in trade deficit of Pakistan resulting in fiscal imbalances has said that the exorbitant increase in import is exerting pressure on balance of payments and reflecting performance of economy.
In a statement here on Friday, Ghazanfar Bilour informed that latest figures indicate that imports for the fiscal year 2017-18 has reached US $ 61 billion, while exports remained US $ 23 billion which results a record high trade deficit of US $ 38 billion.
Despite, the imposition of regulatory duty to contain imports, it has gone more than double of the exports, he said adding while on the other hand exports from Pakistan are continuously declining after reaching US $ 25 billion in 2013-14.
The FPCCI President said that the imports targets for fiscal year 2018 were set at US $ 48.82 billion. Pakistan’s imports increased by 15 percent due to increase in POL prices, machinery for CPEC and devaluation of Pakistani rupee, he added.
He also apprehended that if current trend in exports and imports will continue, the trade deficit will get further widen and ultimately, it may hurt economic growth, outflow of capital, transfer of resources and it will increase economic dependency. Adverse balance of payment also erodes the foreign exchange reserves that are also narrowing down.
Ghazanfar Bilour also said that many countries have trade deficit which is not unusual but deficit finance through borrowing is un-sustainable in the long term.