BRI to help enhance Pakistan’s exports to Kazakhstan: WealthPK

ISLAMABAD: The export of different items from Pakistan to Kazakhstan has increased significantly but it can be further enhanced through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), WealthPK reports.
According to the data of the State Bank of Pakistan, exports to Kazakhstan grew by 74.6 percent and reached $90.079 million during the first 10 months of the current fiscal as compared to $51.583 million in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.
However, on year-on-year basis, exports to Kazakhstan decreased by 85.7 percent to $1.983 million in April 2022 from $13.883 million in the same month of 2021. On month-on-month basis, export to Kazakhstan decreased by 20.9 percent to $1.983 million in April 2022 from $2.508 in the previous month of the same financial year.
Similarly, on month-on-month basis, imports from Kazakhstan increased by 114 percent to $1.494 million in April 2022 from $0.695 million in the previous month of the same fiscal.
Cereals, fruits, oil seeds, pharmaceutical products and vegetables are Pakistan’s main export items to Kazakhstan. The major import items from Kazakhstan include chemicals, vegetables, raw hides and skins, coffee, tea, spices, oil seeds and fruits.
Pakistan has the potential to export rice, wheat, black tea, guavas, mangoes, wilking, oranges, bananas, onions, tamarinds, surgical instruments, pharmaceutical products, gloves and textile items to Kazakhstan, according to the Pakistan Business Council (PBC).
According to a recent report of PBC, Pakistan’s export goods reach Kazakhstan through Afghanistan, which is a major impediment as it increases the transit time and transportation cost for Pakistani exporters. The long route also makes the export of perishable items difficult.
It says that trade between both the countries has also been affected by the lack of formal banking channels as they have difficulties in getting their payments through the ‘letter of credit’.
The report says that the Pakistan government should coordinate with the government of Kazakhstan to open branches of Pakistani banks there to facilitate trade through formal channels. It adds that the State Bank of Pakistan should provide soft loans to exporters to encourage them to export their products to Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan plays an important role in the BRI. Pakistan should coordinate with the Chinese government to promote trade with Kazakhstan efficiently through the initiative.
Pakistan produces different items of good quality that can become popular in Kazakhstan as compared to the products of other countries. The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan should organise exhibitions in Kazakhstan to promote Pakistani rice, mangoes, guava, wilking, pharmaceutical items and surgical products there. Such trade events will help Pakistan to export of these items to Kazakhstan.
The export volume from Pakistan to Kazakhstan was $193.1 million in 2021, according to the United Nations Comtrade database. The major export items include cereals worth $127.27 million; fruits, nuts, peel of citrus fruit and melons $50 million; oil seed, oleagic fruits, grain, seed and fruits $9.21 million; pharmaceutical products $2.51 million; and edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers worth $1.51 million, according to the WealthPK research