Pakistan’s trade balance deteriorated further following signing of preferential trade agreements with China, Malaysia and Indonesia, according to sources.
They attributed the trend to ‘ineffective, ill-planned negotiations’ of the Ministry of Commerce with trading partners in the region.
Official data compiled by the ministry shows that Pakistan’s exports did not grow in comparison to imports from these countries. “Pakistan already had trade deficit with these countries but the preferential trade treaty aggravated the trade imbalance,” the source informed.
Pakistan-China volume of trade, which was in the region of $4.1 billion in the year 2006-07 before signing the free trade agreement (FTA), reached all time high in 2012-13, amounting to $9.2bn, reflecting an increase of 124 per cent.
Meanwhile, Pakistan and Indonesia have signed preferential trade agreement (PTA) on February 3, 2012.
Pakistan’s exports to Indonesia were $48.3 million in 2008-09, while imports stood at $842.7m, reflecting a bilateral trade deficit at $$794.4m. But the trade deficit with Indonesia reached to $1.099bn in 20012-13 following the signing of the PTA as exports stood at $196.421m while imports from Indonesia stood at $1.296bn.