Islamabad, February 13
Pakistan has one of the lowest trade-to-GDP ratios at just 30 percent, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The ADB says Pakistan is a relatively large country, however its trade openness remains remarkably low. It is only more open than Ethiopia, Brazil and Sudan.
Pakistan has historically experienced uneven growth and remains among the least open economies in the world, even after taking its relatively large size into account, says the report.
ADB, in its report titled ‘Pakistan’s Economy and Trade in the Age of Global Value Chains’, says the economic openness of Pakistan is less than India and Bangladesh, reported Dawn.
Furthermore, Pakistan’s exports are mostly dependent on textile products and thus its trade is less diversified. It mentions that Pakistan’s exports are less diversified than India’s. Moreover, India’s GDP is almost 10 times larger than Pakistan, according to the report.
It said that Pakistan’s trade is currently oriented to the United States, Europe, and China and it does not have a significant trading relationship with its proximate neighbors in South Asia.
The report further points out that the only economy for which it is a major market is its northern neighbor Afghanistan.
Concentrating too much on only a few sectors or products poses risks to an economy since shocks to the dominant sector can more easily cause an economy-wide recession.