Trade between India and Pakistan has surprisingly being strong since the beginning of the current fiscal year, despite the accelerating rate of diplomatic tension between the hostile neighbors. A State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) report has revealed that Pakistan grew its exports to India during the first eight months of 2016-17 while curtailing imports by 23 per cent, however, the trade balance remains in favour of India, reports Dawn.
It comes as a pleasant surprise that the worsening political relations, which have taken another hit following the sentencing of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan, seem to have little impact on bilateral trade relations. After growing by 14pc, exports from Pakistan to India amounted to $286 million in July-Feb.
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Imports from India fell 23pc to $958.3m from $1,244m recorded a year ago. A key element contributing to Pakistan’s improved exports to India is high cement demand in the neighbouring country, as it has offset the negative impact of a decline in Pakistan’s cement exports to Afghanistan and South Africa. “A slight consolation was continued strong demand for Pakistani cement from India. This partially offset the declines witnessed in the two other major markets,” said the SBP report.
In the first eight months of the current fiscal year, Pakistan recorded a trade deficit of $672m with India. The deficit was $993m in the same period of the last fiscal year. Imports from India in 2015-16 were worth over four times the exports from Pakistan.