Pakistan Economic & Trade Profile

The Economy

Pakistan, with an estimated GDP (nominal) of US$276 billion is the 41st largest economy of the world. Goldman Sachs has identified Pakistan as one of the ‘Next 11’ countries including Mexico, Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea and Philippines (along with BRICS), which can become the world’s large economies in the 21st century.

The country is strategically located at the crossroads of South Asia, East Asia, Central Asia and Middle East. More than 40% of entire global consumer base and an import market of US$ 2.15 trillion is available on its immediate borders. Pakistan’s own 220 million consumer base, the world’s 5th largest, and a youth bulge offers a potential demographic dividend. The institutional and regulatory reforms have improved the ease of doing business, culminating in a leap of 28 places in World Bank’s global ease of Doing Business ranking in 2019, making Pakistan one of the world’s top 5 business-climate improvers.


Pakistan maintains Free Trade Agreements, under bilateral and multilateral arrangements, with China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Pakistan also has Preferential Trade Agreements with Indonesia, Iran and Mauritius. Besides, Pakistan has unilateral market access in European Union under GSP Plus scheme and in United States under GSP scheme.

Major Exports

Pakistan’s major exports are textiles and garments, food products (rice, spices, horticulture products, fish and fish preparations), leather products, footwear, carpets, sports goods, surgical goods, cutlery, pharmaceutical products, light engineering and auto parts. Out of the total merchandise exports of US$ 25.3 billion in FY 2020-21, the top items were textiles US$ 15.4 billion (61%), food products US$ 4.4 billion (17%) and other manufactures US$ 3.5 billion (14%). The major export destinations were USA 18.6%, China 8.4%, UK 7.8%, Germany 6.3%, UAE 4.9%, Netherlands 4.9%, Afghanistan 3.9%, Spain 3.6%, Italy 3.2% and Bangladesh 2.6%.

Major Imports

Out of the total merchandise imports of US$ 56.4 billion, the major import products were petroleum US$ 11.4 billion (20%), machinery US$ 10.1 billion (18%), agri & other chemicals US$ 9.3 billion (16.5%), food items US$ 8.3 billion (14.8%), metals US$ 4.9 billion (8.7%), textile US$ 3.9 billion (6.9%) and transport vehicles US$ 3.0 billion (5.3%). The major import sources were China 27.3%, UAE 9.8%, USA 5.6%, Indonesia 5.3%, Saudi Arabia 4.1%, Qatar 3.2%, Japan 2.5%, Kuwait 2.5%, Malaysia 2.4%, South Korea 2.3% and Brazil 2.1%.