ISLAMABAD: Malaysia emerged as top importer of Pakistani products among 10 countries of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in the first eight months of financial year 2009-10 (July 2009 to February 2010) with imports of $143.38 million, shows the latest data released by the Trade Development of Pakistan (TDAP).
According to the data release by the TDAP, Vietnam with an import of $85.67 million and the Philippines with an import of $82.30 million were on second and third position.
Malaysia also emerged as the top 18th destination for Pakistan’s exports with an exports of $143.38 million in first eight months of 2009-10 as compared to $85.96 million of the corresponding period of last year, registering an increase of 66.80 per cent whereas the US and the UAE with imports of $2.148 billion and $987.43 million were the first and second destination for Pakistani exports.
Commenting on the substantial increase in exports to Malaysia, Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan to Malaysia Dr Imtiaz A Kazi noted with satisfaction that bilateral trade between the two countries was on a rising trajectory, which could be gauged from the fact that bilateral trade in 2009 crossed the $2 billion mark from $834 million in 2006. He said that potential for bilateral trade was, however, far greater than what has currently been realised.
The Pakistani envoy urged the business community of the two countries to fully utilise the enabling environment created after signing of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Malaysia and Pakistan in November 2007 to bring about manifold increase in trade in coming years.
According to the data, in all 61 commodities were exported to Malaysia, out of which 37 registered an increase, whereas 27 registered a decline in the same period.
Among the top exported commodities, different varieties of rice, including Basmati rice, emerged as the biggest contributor with an unprecedented increase of 536 per cent with exports of $35.43 million as compared to $5.56 million of the corresponding period of year last year.
Basmati rice registered an increase of 33 per cent with exports of $11.45 million as compared to $8.6 million in the same period of last year.
The vegetable exports also recorded a quantum jump and touched the figure of $8.437 million as compared to $2.36 million of the corresponding period of last year, recording an increase of 257.5j per cent.
Other major increase was noted in exports of chemicals (248 per cent),readymade garments (119 per cent), towels (40 per cent), knitwear (six per cent), surgical goods (4.91 per cent), fruits (six per cent), machinery specialised (1040 per cent), gloves (66 per cent), cutlery (384 per cent) and leather footwear 7500 per cent.
According to the data, items that registered decline in the exports included fish and fish products, cotton clothes, bed wear, leather, pharmaceutical products, auto parts, carpet knots, marble and stone.