Economy of Pakistan

In 2019, exports of agricultural products of Pakistan was worth 5.05 billion U.S. dollars.

For 2020, exports of goods with a value was around 21.98 billion U.S. dollars.

In 2019, the most important export partner of Pakistan was the United States with a share of 14 per cent in exports.

Trade in Pakistan

TextilePakistani Exports

The textile sector of Pakistan has reached even higher demands as of 2021. According to the Pakistan Bureau of statistics, during the first quarter of the Financial Year 202, Pakistan’s textile exports have increased by 27.41 percent (from 3.46 billion USD ro 4.42 billion USD).

The reason for the drastic increase were;

The textile sector has remained a benefactor of this region through civilizations. The Pakistani textile manufacturing industry is ranked 8th amongst Asia’s largest textile exporters. It not only has the reputation to generate mass revenue but it reduces unemployment as well by employing 45% of the labour force in Pakistan. The Pakistani Textile industry has a processing capacity of 5.2 billion square meters. We have worked with and continue to work with various international brands such as Target, Dockers, Nike, Adidas, Charles & Keith, Levi’s, H&M and more.

The largest and most significant textile industry located; in Pakistan is the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), with its main office located in Karachi.

CottonPakistani Exports, Cotton

The cotton exports alone made up 13.7% of the GDP in the year 2020. According to global statistics for leading cotton importing countries, Pakistan ranked fifth, exporting 1.15 million bales just this year. Pakistan ranked fifth in another worldwide statistic of Financial Year 2020-21; Leading Cotton Producing Countries; Pakistan produced 980 thousand metric tonnes of cotton.

Cotton is grown in Pakistan as an industrial crop in Pakistan, during the monsoon season the field is spread across 15% of the entire nation’s land (This is the kharif crop period). It is grown throughout the years as well such as February to April but this occurs at a smaller scale.

Cotton in Pakistan is mostly yield in Punjab at 79% and in Sindh at 20%, the rest 1% is from cotton fields throughout Pakistan such as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. The farming scales for cottons based of the farm size are as shown;

Major countries import cotton from Pakistan, some of these include;

Apparel stitchedApparel stitched

The apparel sector of Pakistan contributes immensely to the GDP; 12.7%. The weight of the Pakistani apparel sector is heavy since it provides jobs to 2.38% of the Pakistani population. And uptil 2017, it has contributed 23% percent to the GDP; which we know now has significantly increased.

The worth of the secor is estimated at around 3 billion USD. apparel and garments from pakistan are exported to various countries such as China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Italy, India, Germany, Turkey and more.

The garment sector is predicted to have a major hand in improving the economic situation of Pakistan in 2021. This sector claims the highest return on investment, when compared to other textile facilities and industries of Pakistan, the stitched garment and apparel industry blossoms due to its energy intensiveness, high quality and low cost production.

Some of the top products exported from Pakistan include woven cotton, trousers and shorts for women, knit shirts, t-shirts, vests, pullovers, jerseys, jackets, blazers, overalls and more.

For lower middle class and low classes of Pakistan, the garment sector is suitable and favourable due to its adjustable hours, factory/warehouse locations and more.

The pakistani government has been working on various steps to improve this sector by working on these aspects;

Introducing technology


Among these the most significant and easily applicable step towards improvement is the workers receiving proper training, education, strategies and techniques to perform better in their fields. Teachers, mentors and alumni can be sent out to these industries and villages of northern pakistan, punjab and sindh with aims to improve the industry.

Livestock and PoultryLivestock and poultry

The natural and magnificent topography of Pakistan has made it the epicentre of healthy and tradable livestock. The potential of livestock business in Pakistan has been on a rise for the past few years especially when roads with china were cut off in many countries to covid 19. Countries that have either been a previous client or is a current client of pakistan poultry trade are East Asia, South asia, China and russia. Livestock contributes 58.9% to the Pakistani GDP of the agriculture sector. It is a major part; this includes the livestock and the amenities gained by the,. When it comes to agricultural trade;

This sector majorly benefits the GDP since it deals with various products; milk, beef, mutton, poultry meat, wool, egg, hair, hides bones etcetera. The livestock sector provides jobs for almost 30 million people in Pakistan, most of whom reside in rural areas of the country. People residing in rural areas often struggle to find jobs and sources of income so they lean towards farming and the activities which come with it. This is one of the reasons our agriculture sector flourishes.

Though the Livestock and poultry exports have played a vital role in the economy, Pakistan’s population is rising rapidly and the demand for such products will visibly increase. The increased demand would mean less leftovers to export; looking on the bright side, an increased population will also mean increased workforce.


The value of Pakistani cereal exports can be summed to more than 2.3 billion USD, it makes up about 10% of the nation’s GDP. Pakistan is a manufacturer of various cereal crops including maine, millet, sorghum and more.

In terms of production and productivity, maize is the leading crop worldwide but third in Pakistan since wheat and rice overshadow it. The main production of maine takes place in sindh and punjab, producing about 97% of the crop, and the rest comes from balochistan and khyber pakhtunkhwa. It is grown on over 0.97 million hectares of land with 3.2 million grains, annually!

Farmers in punjab yield more than any other province(currently), due to the active participation of multinational companies and the government of punjab. The farmers nowadays, lean more towards planting hybrid seed to improve their crop yield as demanded by the companies. They are able to generate a significant revenue since there is only a fraction of the seeds available in the market.

The main reasons for such high demand for maize worldwide are;

Ever-growing population of Pakistan and the world, the significance and demand of such crops increase as they are a staple in various cultures and households.

It is a feed for humans, poultry, livestock and in some cases, plants as well.

Other cereal crops of pakistan require different temperature, environment, care and altu=itude;

Rice – requires a warm humid environment and a massive water supply. Mainly grown in Punjab nas sindh.

Millet – millet is grown throughout Sindh since it requires a tropical or subtropical environment to produce a beneficial yield.

Wheat – requires an environment which contains moisture and comparatively a low temperature, this makes punjab the best suited province for its growth.

Leather productsLeather products, exports

The leather product exports from pakistan bring a 632 million USD worth of revenue, standing 6th at the top ten pakistani exports. They make up 2.66% of the GDP.

The production of leather is a 5 step process; livestock, slaughter, tanning, components and goods. The Pakistani leather production starts at small scale farms and herds, where the skin from the slaughter(mostly cow, sheep, goat, buffalo) is sent out to tanneries. Many companies buy the skins as is since they prefer tanning themselves.

The leather production in Pakistan is primarily sialkot based, but a part of production occurs in islamabad and karachi as well. What makes this industry different from the rest is it being almost 95% export based. It is common knowledge that adidas footballs are made in sialkot. Various countries including the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, China and Kenya import leather and leather products from Pakistan.

Related:Pakistan Becomes Top Exporter of Camel Meat


When it comes to seafood, Pakistan has a topographical advantage due to its coastline; ports such as Gwadar received great attention due to the worldwide consumption of  fish and crustaceans. Fisheries produce the rich inomega3, high quality proteins, whose demands are increasing rapidly worldwide. These products have a relatively healthy image in the food market as well.

The Pakistani fishing industry is managed by the FDC (Fisheries Development Commissioner) who comes under the MEAL (Ministry Food Agriculture Livestock) as stated by the Pakistani government.

Pakistan houses various harbours but the oldest and the most massive harboys is ‘Karachi Fish Harbour’. There are boats of all kinds and sizes available at the harbour and likely over 4000 crafts used for fishing are logged at all times. This harbour deal with 90% of the consumed fish and crustaceans within Pakistan and produces 95% of the exported seafood of pakistan.

Other well known fish harbours are as follows;

Pakistan is home to an extensive variety of crustaceans and fishes; with more than 10 thousand varieties recorded so far.

When observing the seafood captured; 90% is fishes and 10% are the crustaceans. This has increased the demand and value of fishes worldwide.

We can increase our seafood exports further by optimising inland fishing. The common problems when it comes to finishing are the lack of gear, lack of training, lack of skill, lack of manpower and insufficient healthcare.

The seafood and fish exports are as following;

There are more, but their percentage is negligible. The introduction of technology into these exports have significantly changed the game as well and help catch and preserve more fishes.

Precision InstrumentsPrecision Instruments

The precision instrument sector of Pakistan is mainly based in sialkot. In the current year the sector has generated a revenue of 452 billion USD. The production takes place  when receiving the amount and specifics from international and national buyers, on a national level, these surgical instruments are limited as the government’s main task is to feed the export revenue.

Some major importers include Germany, US, UK and other EU countries. The instruments are normally personalized per demand in the country.

The production of a single instrument requires 10 basic steps but they are different in accordance to each individual instrument. The initial steps are;

  1. Die Making
  2. Raw Material Shearing
  3. Forging
  4. Annealing
  5. Heat Treatment
  6. Initial Assembly Filling
  7. Machining
  8. Trimming
  9. Electropolishing
  10. Finishing + Final Assembly
  11. Testing and Cleaning
  12. Tagging and packing

The production requires mechanical and human effort to produce the finest instruments.

Based in Sialkot, This sectorhouses 2300 companies which are divided further. From the companies, 30 are the major ones (massive in size) and others are split into small or medium sized production and manufacturing houses.

The setup consists of 3 tiers when it comes to advancement levels. Tier 2 and 3 make basic instruments and work with less machinery, whereas tier one manufacturing houses are loaded with machinery and have a greater workforce. This also results in the tier one companies producing a larger revenue.

Related: Pakistan’s Regional Exports Rise to 34.75% in July-August 2021

Natural minerals and stoneNatural minerals and stone

Every year, Pakistan exports 3.7 billion dollars worth of gems. The country has loads of potential in this industry. Rare gems, stones and precious minerals are to be found in the soil of Pakistan. Traders from Karachi, Peshawar, Gilgit and Lahore showcase their stones in different events as well. Stones like rubies, emerald, sapphire, peridot, and tourmaline are some major gem stones found here. Industrialists in this sector are trying to increase gem exports to 10 percent every year. These stones are used in jewellery making. The minerals which Pakistan exports include the following: Marble, Coal, Granite, Gypsum, Chromite, Gold, Copper, Iron Ore, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Lead zinc, and Bauxite. Besides these, Pakistan has a huge reserve for salt. The salt ranges are located in Potwar Plateaus and Khewra.

The province of Balochistan provides these mineral deposits the most out of all the provinces. Besides Balochistan, Sindh province is rich in coal deposits and KPK Province is rich in provision of gems. The stones are mined from mountain ranges of Makran, Toba Kakar, Kirthar and Sulaiman. There is a Pakistan Gems and Mineral Show held every year in Peshawar. It showcases these hidden treasures of the country. The government is taking measures every year to attract more foreign exchange in this sector, particularly.

Fruits and nutsFruits and nuts, exports

The exports of Pakistan include edible fruits, dried fruits and nuts. Pakistan exports more than 284 thousand dollars worth of dried fruits and nuts every year. Moreover Pakistan exports, cherries, peaches, sloes, apricots and plums. These exports are worth more than 45 thousand dollars. Also, Pakistan exports dried or fresh grapes. These bring a revenue of more than 13 thousand dollars.

The fruit which is most exported from Pakistan is Kinoo, a species of Orange. 32 percent of kinoos exports are to the Middle East, 22 percent to Indonesia, 16 percent to the Philippines, 11 percent to Sri Lanka and 17 percent to the rest of the world.Also, Pakistan exports Mangoes. These fruits are produced in the province of Punjab. The export of this fruit go to Europe, Bahrain, Kuwait, UK, Singapore, France, Afghanistan, Dubai, and Singapore. Dates are also exported from Pakistan. They are exported to India, USA, UK, Germany, Canada, and Denmark. Pine nuts are also one of the popular exports of Pakistan. The buyers of Pakistani pine nuts include France, Middle East and Germany.