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ISLAMABAD. Pakistan’s exports to the Middle East declined by 5.57 percent year-on-year to $951.78 million in the first five months of FY23 from $1.008 billion, mainly on a sharp decline in exports to the United Arab Emirates.

According to data compiled by the State Bank of Pakistan, exports to the region showed a mixed trend, with increases to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, while declines to other countries in the region.

The UAE emerged as Pakistan’s leading exporter of goods as exports declined by 11.04 percent to $614.88 million in 5MFY23 from $691.23 million in the corresponding months of the previous year. Almost 65 percent of total exports to the region go to the UAE market alone.

The bulk of exports from the seven UAE states were destined for Dubai, amounting to $557.79 million in the five months of this financial year, compared to $570.53 million in the corresponding months of last year, showing a decline of 2.23 percent.

Pakistan’s leading exports to the UAE include rice, cattle carcasses and half-carcasses, men’s/boys’ cotton ensembles, guavas, mangoes, etc.

Similarly, Pakistan’s major sectoral exports to the UAE include food grains, clothing and apparel products, meat and edible by-products, etc.

Pakistan’s second largest export market in terms of value is Saudi Arabia. However, exports rose 12.24 percent to $184.01 million in 5MFY23 from $163.93 million in the previous year.

Pakistan’s exports to Saudi Arabia have stagnated at around $500 million in the last decade. It clearly shows that there has been no significant increase in market entry compared to the UAE.

Pakistan’s main exports to Saudi Arabia include rice (semi- and whole-milled), cattle carcasses and half-carcasses, tents, textile materials, etc.

Pakistan’s exports to Qatar rose 10.57 percent to $83.44 million from $75.46 million last year, which include rice, cattle carcasses, potatoes, onions, guavas, mangoes, etc.

In the field of sports, football exports increased by 11.74 percent in July-November of this year compared to a year ago. Pakistan is the official football supplier for the 2022 FIFA World Cup held in Doha, Qatar in November.

Pakistan’s exports to Kuwait registered a negative growth of 9.23 percent to $48.44 million on 5 US 23 from $53.16 million last year. The main products exported to Kuwait include cattle carcasses, seafood, tents and rice, among others.

The leading export sector to Kuwait includes meat and edible meat offal, followed by other manufactured textiles.

Exports to Bahrain registered a positive growth of 27.77 percent to $31.01 million in 5FY23 from $24.27 million in the previous year. Pakistan’s leading exports to Bahrain include rice, cotton yarn, cattle carcasses, textile yarn and printing ink, among others.

Published in Dawn on December 25, 2022

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