An Assessment of Pakistan’s Export Performance and the Way Forward

2017:153
Publication Year : 2017

This paper examines in detail Pakistan’s export performance in the light of emerging global challenges and identifies key structural and policy issues that stifle Pakistan’s exports. It is argued that Pakistan has lagged behind its comparators due to a combination of factors including lack of modern technology and human resource development, shortage of required skills, lack of quality certifications and conformity to international standards, poor physical infrastructure, lack of foreign direct investment, and high cost of doing business. The paper stresses that while regional economic integration can help Pakistan boost its exports, there is a need to introduce an appropriate regulatory and legal framework that streamlines cross-border flow of goods, people and vehicles with well-defined transit rights and arrangements. To improve global competitiveness, Pakistan needs to create competency in more labour intensive components of complex products gradually advancing to more skill and technology intensive activities. Moreover, there is a need to devise policies and strategies to promote technology upgradation, improve business climate, enhance institutional quality and support small and medium enterprises. These initiatives can be instrumental in achieving greater competitiveness which is essential to galvanise exports and thus enhance the country’s long term growth prospects.