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Pakistan's Preferential Trade Between Corridors

Updated: Jan 13

By Huda Hameed

Pakistan, a country visible on the world map situated next to the Indian Ocean, has been a nation for almost 76 years now. As long as the country has been independent, it has succeeded in establishing and nurturing long-standing healthy relations with countless countries worldwide.

Pakistan has free trade agreements with Sri Lanka, China, and Malaysia. Pakistan is also a part of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and has preferential trade agreements with Iran, Indonesia, Turkey, and Mauritius. Agriculture plays a significant role in the economy, contributing to around 23% of their GDP and employing more than 42.3% of the country’s labour force. The major exports of Pakistan include textiles, leather and sports goods, chemicals, carpets, and rugs. Meanwhile, Pakistan also exports significant quantities of rice, sugar, cotton, fish, fruits, and vegetables.

One of Pakistan’s largest and most crucial trade partners is China. Geographically, they are both neighbours and have shared a long-term economic and social bond. On April 20th, 2015, both countries strengthened their relationship by allowing CPEC (China-Pakistan economic corridor) to come into the playing field. The purpose of CPEC was to help overcome the energy crisis, build modern infrastructure, promote rapid industrialization and create enormous job opportunities in Pakistan.

Recently, Pakistan has begun broadening their trade relations worldwide. It has fostered its relationships in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East to reduce reliance on traditional trading partners and expand its market reach globally.

These critical changes are playing a vital role in shaping the nation's economic landscape today. By investing in regional connectivity projects like CPEC and cultivating partnerships with a diverse group of countries, Pakistan is working on playing a major role in the global trade arena. However, like any nation, Pakistan has many obstacles ahead, such as improving infrastructure, addressing trade imbalances, and managing geopolitical complexities. In order to enhance its trade relations in the future it will have to put in continuous and efficient efforts.

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