Wali Zahid

Futurist · Disruptor · Visionary

Pakistan exports at a glance 2013-20

Wali Zahid
August 1, 2022
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What Pakistan exported in 2020. Worth $27.3B. Top 3: ICT, House linen, rice | Source: Harvard CID Atlas

Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID) is a useful resource in predicting economic growth over the next 10 years.

Back in 2016 before Panama happened in Pakistan, and we had broken the story for Express Tribune in 2017, Pakistan GDP was predicted to grow by 6 percent over 10 years, according to CID. In 2022, the CID's Growth Projections foresee GDP growth in ⁨Pakistan⁩ of ⁨4.3%⁩ annually over the coming decade.

What most Pakistani readers do not know is that CID’s Atlas of Economic Complexity has some very useful data visualisations on Pakistan’s exports since 1995.

Since many people do not access CID website and they come to this blog for visual information on Pakistan economy, we have taken the liberty of reproducing screen grabs of these past years of Pakistan exports.

Similarly, we can also see which destinations Pakistan export to. In 2020, top three destinations were: US, China and Germany (image below). Source: Harvard CID Atlas.

Where did Pakistan export to in 2020? Top 3 destinations: US, China and Germany. Source: CID Harvard
Where did Pakistan export to in 2020? Top 3 destinations: US, China and Germany. Source: CID Harvard

What is the share of the global market Pakistan exports capture? Below is the snapshot from CID Harvard.

Pakistan's global share of exports in 2020. Source: CID Harvard
Pakistan's global share of exports in 2020. Source: CID Harvard

What Pakistan exported in 2019. Worth $29.8B. Top 3: ICT, house linen, rice. Source: CID Harvard
What Pakistan exported in 2019. Worth $29.8B. Top 3: ICT, house linen, rice. Source: CID Harvard

What Pakistan exported in 2018. Worth $30.3B. Top 3: ICT, house linen, rice. Source: CID Harvard
What Pakistan exported in 2018. Worth $30.3B. Top 3: ICT, house linen, rice. Source: CID Harvard

What Pakistan exported in 2017. Worth $28.2B. Top 3: ICT, house linen, rice. Source: CID Harvard
What Pakistan exported in 2017. Worth $28.2B. Top 3: ICT, house linen, rice. Source: CID Harvard

What Pakistan exported in 2016. Worth $27.8B. Top 3: ICT, house linen, rice. Source: Harvard CID
What Pakistan exported in 2016. Worth $27.8B. Top 3: ICT, house linen, rice. Source: Harvard CID

What Pakistan exported in 2015. Worth $30.7 billion. Top 3: ICT, house linen, rice. Source: Harvard CID Atlas
What Pakistan exported in 2015. Worth $30.7 billion. Top 3: ICT, house linen, rice. Source: Harvard CID Atlas

What Pakistan exported in 2014. Worth $33.5 billion. Top 3: ICT, house linen, rice. Source: Harvard CID Atlas
What Pakistan exported in 2014. Worth $33.5 billion. Top 3: ICT, house linen, rice. Source: Harvard CID Atlas

What Pakistan exported in 2013. Worth $32 billion. Top 3: ICT, house linen, cotton yarn. Source: Harvard CID Atlas
What Pakistan exported in 2013. Worth $32 billion. Top 3: ICT, house linen, cotton yarn. Source: Harvard CID Atlas

What did Pakistan export between 1995 and 2020? Top 3: Textiles, agriculture, services
What did Pakistan export between 1995 and 2020? Top 3: Textiles, agriculture, services

Another useful resource is MIT’s The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) which produces similar data visualisations. An OEC summary of Pakistan as an exporting country is produced below. The annual export dollar amounts reported may differ between Harvard and MIT visualisations. Please check out their methodology.

According to OEC, in 2020, the top exports of Pakistan are House Linens ($3.61B), Rice ($2.14B), Non-Knit Men's Suits ($1.8B), Non-Knit Women's Suits ($1.06B), and Knit Sweaters ($950M), exporting mostly to USA and Europe/UK.

Pakistan exports in US dollars during 1967-2018. Highest point: Worth $30.7B in 2013.
Pakistan exports in US dollars during 1967-2018. Highest point: Worth $30.7B in 2013.
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Wali Zahid

Wali Zahid is a longtime China watcher and a Pakistan futurist. An award-winning journalist, he writes on issues of significance to Pakistan and CPEC & BRI.