Sun, 26 Sep 2021

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 4 (ANI): Owing to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan's net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been decreased by 28.9 percent in the financial year 2021, as well as its trade deficit widened by 81.4 per cent.

Minister In-charge of the Prime Minister's Office in written replies to the questions of the members told the National Assembly during the question hour session on Monday that the net FDI stood at USD 1.847 billion during the period of 2020-21, reported Business Recorder.

He said that since, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy toppled and overall FDI flows across the world went down by 35 per cent in 2020 and this also affected the FDI inflows into Pakistan due to which net FDI decreased by 28.9 per cent in the financial year 2021.

Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin also told the House in a written reply that as on 19th July, 2021 the foreign exchange reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan were USD 17.92 billion, while reserves with commercial banks were USD 7.07 billion, reported Business Recorder.

In another reply to a question, Tarin said that Pakistan entered into an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Program with the IMF in July 2019.

He said that till date, five reviews have been concluded successfully with around USD 1.9 billion disbursed to Pakistan, reported Business Recorder.

Meanwhile, alarm bells are ringing for Pakistan as the trade deficit hit USD 3.058 billion in July. The government's battle against bloated trade deficit is reversing as it widened 81.4 per cent in the first month of the current fiscal year (FY22), driven largely by the almost double increase in imports compared to exports from the country, reported Dawn.

The merchandise trade deficit reached USD 3.058 billion in July this year against USD 1.686 billion over the corresponding month last year, according to data shared by the Ministry of Commerce on Monday.

The trade deficit reached an all-time high of USD 37.7 billion in FY18. The trade gap has been widening since December 2020, mainly led by exponential growth in imports and comparatively slow growth in exports, reported Dawn. (ANI)

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