Soaring Exports of Pakistan's Information Technology and Pharma Industries Amid COVID Pandemic
|Razzak Dawood on IT Exports|
With several major brands moving production to Pakistan amid the COVID19 pandemic, the country's exports have grown at a faster pace than those of Bangladesh and India, according to Bloomberg News. Pakistan's total textile shipments rose 7% in September, compared with India’s 6% and Bangladesh’s 3.5%.
|South Asia Region's Exports. Source: Bloomberg|
|Pakistan's Textiles Growth. Source: Bloomberg|
|IPO Spree in Karachi Stock Market. Source: Bloomberg|
|Covid19 Cases in Pakistan. Source: Our World in Data|
|Pakistan Monthly Quantum Index of Manufacturing. Source: PBS|
Pakistan is once again experiencing a construction boom with new incentives under Naya Pakistan Housing Program. Monthly cement sales rose to near all-time high of almost 5 million tons in July 2020 as construction activity picked up in both housing and CPEC-related projects.
|Pakistan Cement Sales. Source: Bloomberg|
Gasoline sales in June, 2020 hit new record and local car deliveries rose to about 10,000 units as people returned to work after easing of lockdown in May, 2020. Kia Motors Corp.’s local unit is planning to add a second shift at its factory in Karachi from January.
|Pakistan Car Sales Recovery. Source: Bloomberg|
Multiple Sectors Growing:
Sectors including food, beverages & tobacco, coke & petroleum products, pharmaceuticals and non metallic mineral products saw an increase in production in July 2020. Muzzammil Aslam, chief executive officer at Tangent Capital Advisors Pvt., was quoted by Bloomberg as saying, “It has surprised everybody". Aslam expects Pakistan economy at 4%-5% in current fiscal year, higher than the government’s 2.1% target. “The growth is led by an aggregate demand push.”
Pakistanis have defied all foreign and domestic doomsayers, including media, activists and think tanks of all varieties. Pakistan has successfully fought off the deadly COVID19 virus and begun to bounce back economically. Pakistan’s IT exports increased by 44% during the first quarter (July, August and September) of the fiscal year 2020-21, according to a tweet by Razzak Dawood, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan. Pharmaceutical exports saw 22.6% increase in the same period over last year. With several major brands moving production to Pakistan, the country's exports are rebounding faster than its peers in South Asia. Moody's rating agency has raised Pakistan's economic outlook from "under review for downgrade" to "stable". Pakistan's Planning Minister Asad Umar is talking of a "V-shaped recovery". Monthly cement sales have rebounded to pre-pandemic level, fuel sales have increased, tax collection is up, exports are rising and the Karachi stock market is booming again. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief General Javed Bajwa have been on the same page in tackling the health and economic crises faced by Pakistan. Contrary to the critics of Pakistan's civil-military ties, Khan-Bajwa cooperation has been one of the keys to the country's success in dealing with the twin crises.
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