Prime Minister Imran Khan today officially launched the Pak-China Business Investment Forum in Islamabad.
The platform was created through a collaboration between the Board of Investment (BoI) and the All-Pakistan Chinese Enterprises Association (APCEA). All parties involved are expected to work together to exchange valuable information and foster collaboration between businesses in the two countries, thereby opening up new areas of cooperation.
The forum, which includes 18 Chinese and 19 Pakistani companies, seeks to promote long-term investment opportunities, exports, and the introduction of digital technology in Pakistan.
During his speech at the launch ceremony, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lamented how small nations have fared better in terms of exports than Pakistan. He stated that while Pakistan has not progressed in the IT industry, the sector has increased its exports in a year with minimal incentives.
When asked about Pakistan’s export base, PM Khan admitted that it is “painful” to see the country struggling to expand its export base in comparison to other countries with smaller economies. “How can a country progress if it doesn’t export?” he bemoaned.
Due to a steady increase in imports, Pakistan’s trade deficit increased by 100 percent during the first half of the current fiscal year 2021-22.
Imports increased by 38% to $6.9 billion in December 2021 from $5 billion in December 2020, while monthly imports decreased by 13%. Imports fell by $1 billion in December 2021, according to preliminary trade data.
Exports grows by 16.7 percent to $2.76 billion in December 2021, up from $2.36 billion the previous year. They fell by 5% on a monthly basis.