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Trump Vows to At Least Quadruple US-Pakistan Trade

Talking with the media during Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to the White House on July 22, 2019, US President Donald Trump said the United States “have a fantastic trade relationship (with Pakistan). I don’t mean we’ll increase it by 20 per cent. I mean, I think we can quadruple it. I think it could go — I mean, literally, it sounds crazy — you could go 10 times more. You could go 20 times more.” This is good news for Pakistan which has seen its exports stalled over the last 5 years. This has created a serious balance of payments crisis forcing the country to seek yet another IMF bailout.

US-Pakistan Trade Volume:

So what is the current volume of bilateral US-Pakistan trade?  The United States is currently Pakistan's largest export market accounting for 16% of the country's exports. The United States Office of the Trade Representative (USTR) website says that "Pakistan is currently our 56th largest goods trading partner with $6.6 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2018. Goods exports totaled $2.9 billion; goods imports totaled $3.7 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Pakistan was $783 million in 2018."

Pakistan's Exports to US: 

Pakistan's major exports to the United States are made up of garments and other textiles. In aggregate the apparel and textile industries accounted for 37.8% and 35.1% respectively of all U.S. imports from Pakistan in the 12 months to May 31, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Given Pakistan accounted for just 1.7% of U.S. apparel imports and 8.4% of textiles there may well be room for increased market share, particularly in light of US-China trade tensions.

Pakistan's Exports to the United States. Source: Standard and Poor ...

Pakistan's garments exports to the United States have jumped 12% in first quarter of 2019 from the same period a year ago, according to USITC Dataweb.  This double digit exports growth is being partly attributed to US President Donald's Trump ongoing trade war with China with the US government imposing 10% to 25% tariffs on certain Chinese goods. Pakistani rupee devaluation has also contributed to the nation's overall competitiveness.

Textile Exports to United States. Source: Bloomberg

American buyers are diversifying their supplier base away from China, the No. 1 exporter of these goods to the U.S. Already, Bangladesh is close to snatching the trousers-to-towel crown, according to Bloomberg News. Pakistan, at No. 6 last year, has grown its own shipments to the U.S. by almost 12% this year. It may overtake India, which has seen virtually no improvement.

Major US Importers of Pakistani Apparel: 

Who are the largest American importers of apparel and textile products from Pakistan? The largest importer of apparel and textiles from Pakistan in the past 12 months, aside from trade finance houses, has been Levi Strauss with 1,682 TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit Containers) shipped. That followed a 101.5% year over year surge in shipments in 2Q. Other importers have also already been expanding their shipments. That was followed by JC Penney with 991 TEUs shipped after a 13.3% rise in 2Q while Adidas shipped 641 TEUs and grew by 9.9%, according to Standard and Poor Global Market Intelligence.

Biggest Importers of Apparel From Pakistan. Source: Standard and Po...

Pakistani Apparel Exporters: 

Pakistan's Interloop Limited based in Faisalabad is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of apparel and textiles. The company recently raised nearly Rs. 5 billion on Karachi Stock Exchange to expand production of stitched denim designs for its clients including Levi’s and H&M. Interloop's major clients also include Nike, Reebok, Adidas, and Puma, as well as other major clothing retailers like Uniqlo and Target.

Pakistani Export Competitiveness: 

Pakistani apparel exports are becoming more competitive in international markets because Pakistani rupee has declined by almost 25% recently. This has wiped out the currency’s overvaluation adjusted for inflation differences with trading partners, as estimated by the IMF.

Average Annual Cost of Manufacturing Worker in US$ in Asia. Source:...

Textiles industry is just one the export industries seeing exodus of manufactures and buyers from China.  Electronics industry is seeing similar moves. Engadget is reporting that Google is moving production of its US-bound Nest thermostats and motherboards to Taiwan. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Nintendo is shifting at least some production of its Switch console to Southeast Asia.

Last November, Nomura Securities strategists had said they expected Malaysia, Japan and Pakistan  to be the top 3 beneficiaries of import substitution triggered by US-China trade war escalation. Nomura's analysis is based on detailed study of 7,705 items which will be subject to tariffs and counter tariffs by US and China if the stand-off continues. Nomura developed two indices as part of its research on the subject: NISI (Nomura Import Substitution Index) and NPRI (Nomura Production Relocation Index). This is good news for Pakistan which has seen its exports stalled over the last 5 years. This has created a serious balance of payments crisis forcing the country to seek yet another IMF bailout.

Pakistan's Stalled Exports. Source: Standard and Poor Global

Summary: 

President Donald Trump at his July 22, 2019 White House meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed to at least quadruple trade with Pakistan.  It means the bilateral trade between the two countries could grow from the current $6.6 billion to at least $26.4 billion.  Pakistan's garments exports to the United States have jumped 12% in first quarter of 2019 from the same period a year ago, according to USITC Dataweb.  This double digit exports growth is being partly attributed to US President Donald's Trump ongoing trade war with China with the US government imposing 10% to 25% tariffs on certain Chinese goods. Pakistani rupee devaluation has also contributed to the nation's overall competitiveness. This is good news for Pakistan which has seen its exports stalled over the last 5 years. It has created a serious balance of payments crisis forcing the country to seek yet another IMF bailout.  Pakistan's Interloop Limited based in Faisalabad is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of apparel and textiles. The company recently raised nearly Rs. 5 billion on Karachi Stock Exchange to expand production of stitched denim designs for its clients including Levi’s and H&M. Interloop's major clients also include Nike, Reebok, Adidas, and Puma, as well as other major clothing retailers like Uniqlo and Target.

Here's a discussion recorded prior to the Trump-Imran Summit in Washington:

https://youtu.be/Y6fFRSpuNh0

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Can Pakistan Avoid Recurring Balance of Payment Crisis?

Pakistan Economy Hobbled By Underinvestment

Pakistan's IT Exports Surging

Can Indian Economy Survive Without Western Capital Inflows?

Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-Japan-US

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Comment by Riaz Haq on August 12, 2019 at 5:28pm

TOKYO -- Having prepared for the prospect of additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, Japanese corporations with factories in China are expected to move faster in shifting production out of the country now that Washington has decided to escalate the trade war.

The U.S. announced Thursday that a 10% duty on roughly $300 billion in Chinese goods will take effect on Sept. 1. President Donald Trump said the duty can be increased in stages and that tariffs "can be lifted to well beyond 25%."

This fourth round of tariffs would cover a broad range of products, including smartphones, game systems and clothing.

Nintendo, which currently assembles most of its Switch game systems in China, has begun moving production to Vietnam and intends to boost its output further in the Southeast Asian nation.

Sony's production of its PlayStation 4 game console, cameras and other products could be affected by the tariffs. The company has already been studying steps such as relocating production and hiking prices, so it will likely make decisions depending on the situation. At its earnings briefing at the end of last month, Senior Vice President Naomi Matsuoka said that she hopes to keep the operating profit impact of the fourth round of tariffs at less than 10 billion yen ($94 million) this fiscal year.

Sharp subsidiary Dynabook builds all of its notebook computers in China, but Sharp said it will consider moving production to its own facilities in Vietnam or to plants of Taiwanese parent Hon Hai Precision Industry -- commonly known as Foxconn -- if the fourth round of tariffs is implemented.

Kyocera assembles copiers and multifunction printers for the U.S. market in China, and Europe-bound products in Vietnam.

"We will switch production between Chinese and Vietnamese facilities," Kyocera President Hideo Tanimoto told reporters on Friday, after the U.S. announced the fourth round of tariffs, which cover copiers and multifunction printers. The move is expected to cost up to several billion yen.

Ricoh moved production of U.S.-bound multifunction printers to Thailand from China at the end of last month, and is looking at building those products for the Japanese and European markets in China instead of Thailand.

Asics' shoes will be subject to the latest tariffs. "The impact of the tariffs will be negligible," said President Yasuhito Hirota. "But I am concerned about slowdowns in the U.S. and Chinese economies."

The U.S.-China trade frictions have crimped corporations' appetite to invest. Panasonic's sales of motors, sensors and other devices used in production equipment have declined as clients hold off on capital investment. The company believes that investment may cool further due to the fourth round of tariffs.


https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Tra...eed-up-China-exit-in-response...

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 25, 2019 at 7:24am

Pakistan fast gaining access to markets of developed nations
By Salman SiddiquiPublished: August 24, 2019

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2040817/2-pakistan-fast-gaining-access...

Pakistan is fast strengthening trade ties and getting access to markets of several developed countries around the globe in an attempt to increase exports, which is a must to do away with the pressure on the rupee, build foreign currency reserves and steer the country out of the financial crisis.

“We have got increased market access to China, Europa, Indonesia…and a small market access in Qatar,” said Adviser to Prime Minister for Commerce, Investment, Industries, Production and Textile Abdul Razak Dawood during a visit to a Dawlance factory on Friday.

“Now I am going to the United States to get more market access there,” he said, adding that there were four other countries with whom Islamabad was negotiating to get more market access, which included Canada, Japan, South Korea and Australia.
“All of us in Pakistan must understand that without (revival of) exports this country is not going anywhere,” he remarked while emphasising that exports were increasing at a fast pace.

“Are the country’s exports increasing fast,” he asked and said in the same breath “the answer is yes.”

He said exports increased 14% in July 2019 compared to July 2018. “That is good, but still not good enough. We have to do a lot more. Data for August is keenly awaited to see whether the trend is sustained,” he said.

Pakistan’s exports remained almost static at $24.22 billion in FY19 compared to $24.76 billion in FY18, according to the central bank.

Dawood said exports, which started improving at the outset of second year of his government, would help ease pressure on the rupee and build foreign currency reserves of the country.

The current account deficit dropped significantly to $13.5 billion in FY19 compared to a record high of around $20 billion in FY18. “The deficit will be further restricted in the range of $5-7 billion in the current fiscal year,” he said.

He, however, regretted too much reliance on textile exports and urged other sectors of the economy to play their role in diversifying exports. “We have to now move towards export of engineering goods, chemicals, IT products, processed food and others,” he said.

The PM aide was happy to note that engineering firms like Millat Tractors and Dawlance had started exporting their products to African and European countries respectively.

He asked the large-scale manufacturing (LSM) sector to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to enter the manufacturing sector.

“We actually had a de-industrialisation situation. That is over. We are now back on the track of industrialisation,” he said, adding that the new industrialisation phase would help build the brand of ‘Make in Pakistan’ for exports and import substitution.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan holds weekly meetings to stay updated on the issues and problems faced by the industrial sector and how to resolve them,” he said.

Dawood said the government was trying to correct the duty structure. “I am not satisfied (with the current duty structure). There is a lot to be done. We have to correct the duty structure to facilitate the ease of doing business.”

He invited budget proposals from the industries to resolve their outstanding issues and added that such challenges may be overcome much earlier than the next budget presentation.

“What do you want in the next budget or before the budget (for industries),” he asked.

The adviser said the Chinese were relocating their industries to Pakistan, which would help build the export sector and promote import substitution. A large Chinese delegation of 65 parties is due in October. They are believed to make a huge participation in the new industrialisation phase in Pakistan.

He said fundamentals of textile exports had also changed to positive. Exports of value-added textile goods like garments and knitwear increased notably in July while exports of raw material – yarn – dropped 18%.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 29, 2019 at 7:53pm

US, China, UK top three export destinations of Pakistani products

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/519182-us-china-uk-top-three-expo...

The United States remained among the top exports destinations of the Pakistani products followed by China and United Kingdom during first month of current financial year 2019-20 as compared to the corresponding month of last year.

During the month of July, 2019, the total exports to the US were recorded at $373.514 million against the exports of $328.090 million, showing an increase of 13.84 percent during the period under review, according to the data issued by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

This was followed by China, wherein Pakistan exported goods worth $167.058 million against the exports of $152.043 million same month of last year, showing growth of 9.87 percent.

To United Kingdom (UK), Pakistan exported products worth $147.333 million during the current fiscal year against the exports of $153.702 million during last fiscal year, showing decrease of 14.4 percent, SBP data revealed.

Among other countries, Pakistani exports to Germany stood at $116.041 million against $116.064 million during last year, showing decline of 0.01 percent while the exports to Afghanistan were recorded at $108.642 million against $127.475 million last year, the data revealed.

The exports to Netherlands (Holland) were recorded at $85.398 million against $80.424 million whereas the exports to Spain were recorded at $81.468 million against $74.632 million last year.

During the period under review, the exports to Italy were recorded at $70.195 million against $68.008 million whereas the exports to Bangladesh stood at $66.957 million against $58.370 million.

Pakistan’s exports to France were recorded at $40.699 million against $38.209 million last year where as the exports to Turkey stood at $30.924 million against $29.267 million.

Similarly, the exports to Saudi Arabia during the period under review were recorded at $30.139 million against $27.008 million while the exports to Singapore stood at $ 27.155 million against $15.157 million.

During first month, Pakistan’s exports to Kenya were recorded at $24.101 million during the current fiscal year compared to 22.703 million same month of last year, the exports to Canada stood at $23.975 million against $25.792 million, to Japan $20.301 million against $17.608 million whereas the exports to Malaysia stood at $14.901 million during the current year against $14.013 million during last year.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 29, 2019 at 9:38pm

#American denim giant Levi Strauss partners on #Pakistan #water project to restore #Ravi River basin around #Lahore | Apparel Industry News | just-style https://www.just-style.com/news/levi-strauss-partners-on-pakistan-w... via @juststyle


The project is part of the company's better water management strategy in sourcing countries.

Comment by Riaz Haq yesterday

Special Economic Zones (#SEZs) in #Faisalabad alone would help #Pakistan grow its #exports by $1billion to $1.5 billion per year in the short span of time by ensuring effective and comprehensive planning, Says (FIEDMC) Chief Mian Kashif #economy https://nation.com.pk/15-Sep-2019/sezs-to-boost-exports-to-1-5b-per...

Appreciating economic vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said the premier has directed all the concerned departments to remove hurdles in the way of development of SEZs and establish them on priority basis.

Fortunately, he said almost hundred percent plots in M-3 Industrial Estate have already been sold out while hundreds of units have become operational and were playing their role in providing exportable surplus in addition to accommodating thousands of workers.

Mian Kashif said that the industrial city would house more than 400 textile, steel, pharmaceutical, engineering, chemical, food processing, plastic and agriculture appliances units in addition to providing jobs to 250 thousand workers.

He claimed that the city was also expected to attract Rs400 billion local and foreign direct investment which would help Pakistan to stabilise its economy. He further said that Faisalabad was strategically located in the heart of Pakistan with two motorways passing from its eastern and western sides.

He said that this city has a unique privilege to contribute 60 percent towards textile exports and 45 percent towards total exports of the country.

He further said that it was not only restricted to textile which was its iconic identification but hundreds of SMEs hailing from chemicals, steel, food processing and others were also playing their role in the overall economy of Pakistan.

FIEDMC Chairman further said investors from China, Turkey, Korea and Britain have pumped $ 1.10 billion and their confidence in Pakistan have been restored as they are also bringing more investors from their respective country to invest in SEZs.

He said these investors expressed their eagerness to explore the possibility of investment in diverse sectors of Pakistan especially in ceramics, chemicals, steel, food processing and automobiles.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan clearly directed them to focus on developing such industry in SEZs which is based on export and import substitution to restrict the import bill.

He said the good thing is that a number of Chinese industries have started pumping investment in SEZs and apparently the reason behind this is the production cost in China has increased which is making Pakistan one of the beneficiaries of on-going US China trade war.

He emphasised that consistent policies were imperative to attract foreign investment into the country, which could lead the economy towards sustainable growth.

He said industries operating in the FIEDMC will have an immediate access to high-quality infrastructure, un-interrupted power supply, public facilities and support services along with simpler ease of doing business.

Chief Operating Officer Muhammad Aamer Saleemi also briefed the delegation and said FIEDMC in collaboration with Industrial Police Liaison Committee has established police post at M-3 Industrial City and the industrial community will work under safe environment.

“The whole industrial estate will be monitored by high resolution surveillance cameras and 24 hours police patrolling will be provided in the estate,” adding he said this would make FIEDMC the safest industrial estate in the country.

He said CPEC will attract $40 billion worth of investment which will directly raise investment-to-GDP ratio by 2.8 percentage points besides some indirect investment addition.

“The investment in hard currency will also support exchange rate stability in the country and stabilise balance of payments situation in the country,” he added.

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