Pakistan is the 66th largest export economy in the world and the 87th most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). In 2015, Pakistan exported $26.2B and imported $45.5B, resulting in a negative trade balance of $19.3B. In 2015 the GDP of Pakistan was $271B and its GDP per capita was $5.01k.

Foreign trade of Pakistan

Pakistan has bilateral and multilateral trade agreements with many nations and international organizations. It is a member of the World Trade Organization, part of the South Asian Free Trade Area agreement and the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement. Fluctuating world demand for its exports, domestic political uncertainty, and the impact of occasional droughts on its agricultural production have all contributed to variability in Pakistan’s trade deficit. The trade deficit for the fiscal year 2013/14 is $7.743 billion, exports are $10.367 billion in July–November 2013 and imports are $18.110 billion.

Pakistan’s exports continue to be dominated by cotton textiles and apparel. Imports include petroleum and petroleum products, edible oil, chemicals, fertilizer, capital goods, industrial raw materials, and consumer products.

On 12 December 2013, the European Union granted GSP Plus status to Pakistan until 2017, which enabled it to export 20% of its good with 0 tariff and 70 percent at preferential rates to the EU market. This status was given after the European Parliament passed the resolution by 406-186 votes.

The external sector was seriously affected by the economic sanctions imposed on Pakistan after it conducted nuclear tests in May 1998. The lack of foreign investor confidence following the freeze on foreign currency deposits led to a decline in foreign private capital inflows and a sharp decline in money sent home from citizens working abroad, or so called “workers’ remittances.” The level of foreign direct investment declined by 32.1 percent per year to a low of US$296 million in 1998-99, according to official data. Remittances from Pakistanis abroad, most of them in the Gulf, the United Kingdom, and North America, peaked at US$2.89 billion in 1982-83, but fell to under US$1.5 billion in 1998-99. These adverse developments, along with suspension of new economic assistance by major donors, pushed Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves down from US$1,533 million at the end of April 1998 to US$415 million (the lowest level reached during the crisis) by 12 November 1998, hardly sufficient to finance 2-3 weeks’ worth of imports.


Pakistan’s exports for the year 2015-2016 stood at US$ 21 Billion. And imports were at US$ 44.76 billion for the same period.

In the past increased more than 100% from $7.5 billion in 1999 to stand at $18 billion in the financial year 2007-2008. Pakistan’s exports increased more than 100% from $7.5 billion in 1999 to stand at $18 billion in the financial year 2007-2008.

Pakistan exports rice, kinnows, mangoes, furniture, cotton fiber, cement, tiles, marble, textiles, clothing, leather goods, sports goods (renowned for footballs/soccer balls), cutlery, surgical instruments, electrical appliances, software, carpets, rugs, ice cream, livestock meat, chicken, powdered milk, wheat, seafood (especially shrimp/prawns), vegetables, processed food items, Pakistani-assembled Suzuki’s (to Afghanistan and other countries), defense equipment (submarines, tanks, radars), salt, onyx, engineering goods, and many other items. Pakistan produces and exports cements to Asia and the Middle East. In August 2007, Pakistan started exporting cement to India to fill in the shortage there caused by the building boom. Russia is a growing market for Pakistani exporters. In 2009/2010 the export target of Pakistan was US $20 billion. As of April 2015, Pakistan’s exports stand at US $29 billion.

Exports of Pakistan

Pakistan's main exports are mineral fuels (19 percent of the total shipments), manufactured goods (19 percent) and beverage and tobacco (13 percent). Others include: food and live animals (11 percent), crude materials (11 percent), chemicals (11 percent), machinery (8 percent) and miscellaneous articles (8 percent). Main export partners are United States (13.6 percent), China (11 percent of the total export), United Arab Emirates (8.5 percent) and Saudi Arabia (8.5 percent).

Pakistan’s Top 10 Exports

Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: US$3.8 billion 20.1 %
Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $3 billion 16.1 %
Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $2.6 billion 13.8 %
Cotton: $2.5 billion 13.2 %
Cereals: $916.6 million 4.9 %
Leather/animal gut articles: $700.6 million 3.7 %
Mineral fuels including oil: $415.9 million 2.2 %
Fruits, nuts: $388.2 million 2.1 %
Manmade staple fibers: $367.3 million 2 %
Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $334.6 million 1.8 %

List of trading partners

Pakistan Balance of Trade

Pakistan recorded a trade deficit of 325042 PKR Million in August of 2017. Balance of Trade in Pakistan averaged -32397.59 PKR Million from 1957 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 6457 PKR Million in June of 2003 and a record low of -362902 PKR Million in May of 2017.