Exports to US increased during ‘regime change operation’ | The Express Tribune



Surprising as it may seem, Pakistan’s exports to the United States were on the rise during former premier Imran Khan’s tenure, ironically, when he was frequently accusing the US of conducting “regime change operation” in the country.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Masood Khan revealed on Saturday that Pakistan’s year-on-year exports to the United States have increased by 23 per cent and the total volume of exports, for the first time, crossed $5 billion last year — mostly during the time when Imran Khan-led government was in power.

Imran’s allegations that he was ousted from power as part of the ‘US-orchestrated plan’ for allegedly pursuing an independent foreign policy apparently do not go hand-in-hand with the country’s exports to the US on an upward trajectory.

During last financial year, Ambassador Masood said, exports have already grown to $6.16 billion in the July-May 2021-22 period, saying the figures of June, which have yet to come, would further enhance the overall volume of total Pakistan’s exports the US.

“The United States is an important trading partner and the single largest export destination for Pakistan. The spurt in our exports is a very promising trend,” he added.

Also read: US backed regime change as it ‘wants bases in Pakistan’

In the last financial year, the envoy said that Pakistan’s imports from US stood at $2.4 billion. In the July-May 2021-22 period, he said, they have increased to $2.72 billion, adding imports from US have increased marginally whereas there has been a huge rise in our exports.

Masood said that Pakistan’s total exports to the US in the sectors of Services and IT have crossed $2 billion. Cumulatively, he said, the total volume of exports should be more than $8 billion, including services and IT.

“Pakistan’s tech sector, supported mainly by the United States’ entrepreneurs, has shown extraordinary results. It is poised to continue on its positive trajectory,” the ambassador said.

In recent months, the tech start-ups in Pakistan have invested and earned a billion dollar, Masood said and added that the digital enterprises in Pakistan were fast becoming global and ready for an exponential growth. “The Pak-US partnership in the tech sector will grow in strength in the years to come,” Masood said.

In the recent past, Pakistan has emphasised closer trade and investment ties between Pakistan and the United States. Masood believes that the remarkable performance of Pakistan’s exports to the US market would reinforce such trends and deepen the engagement between the two countries — echoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s desire to have deeper ties with US in the areas of trade, investment, IT, climate change, health, and energy.

Also read: Exports to US jump 29% to $4b during 10MFY21

On the contrary, Imran Khan continued to blame the US for imposing an “imported government” in Pakistan after allegedly conspiring against his government. On Friday, the former PM said that the US backed regime change because it wanted to have military bases in Pakistan and use the country once again to meet its foreign policy objectives in the region and beyond.

In his statement, Imran said that the US once again wants to have bases in Pakistan and use the country against Russia, saying the issue was going on between the US and Russia but Pakistan was not allowed to import cheap oil and gas from Russia – a condition that doesn’t apply to India.

Masood said that Pakistan and US held an inter-sessional meeting of trade and investment in March 2022, where US’ Assistant US Trade Representative, Christopher Wilson, and Pakistan’s Secretary Commerce Muhammad Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui discussed about enhancing trade between the two countries.

He said that both sides are preparing for a ministerial meeting under Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA) during summer or early fall this year.


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