Problem with exports


After posting a surprising jump in July, when much of international trade was still compromised, Pakistan’s export earnings have suffered yet another dip in August because of all the rains that paralysed life in Karachi, disrupted supply chains and forced businesses to shut down. According to data released by the ministry of commerce, Pakistan’s exports contracted to the tune of 19.5 percent to $1.6 billion year-on-year in August 2020. This shows how sensitive exports, and by proxy the country’s fiscal health because we are talking about revenue that runs the country, are to things like disruption to daily business life, power breakdowns and, especially, urban flooding.
The government, which celebrated July’s impressive surge in export earning to no end, and justifiably so since it was something of an achievement, has now taken to being mum about what really happened in August, except for the de facto commerce minister, Razzaq Dawood, who warned a few days earlier in a tweet that the heavy rains might disrupt the upswing in export revenue, which is exactly what has happened. The commerce ministry feels this is a small thing and it shouldn’t be long before the vibrant export sector makes up for all the losses. Things are, after all, going to return to normal sooner or later and then everybody is just expected to just go back to the business of production and exports and capturing new markets.