Economy of Pakistan

Page semi-protected
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Economy of Pakistan
Karachi, the financial hub of Pakistan
CurrencyPakistani rupee (₨) (PKR)
1 July – 30 June
Trade organisations
ECO, SAFTA, WTO, AIIB, ADB, and others
Country group
PopulationIncrease 242,923,845 (5th; 2022 est.) [3]
GDP rank
GDP growth
  • Increase 6.0% (FY 2022)[6]
  • Decrease 0.5% (FY 2023)[7]
  • Increase 3.5% (FY2024)[7]
GDP per capita
  • Decrease $1,568 (nominal; 2023)[8]
  • Increase $6,836 (PPP; 2023 est.)[9]
GDP per capita rank
GDP by sector
GDP by component
  • Positive decrease 29.4% (June 2023 YoY)[12]
Negative increase 22.00% (July 2023)[13]
Population below poverty line
31.6 medium (2018, World Bank)[18]
Labour force
  • Increase Total 71.76 million
  • Increase Employed 67.25 million (2021)[21]
Labour force by occupation
  • Negative increase 7% (2023)[22]
  • Negative increase 17.4 million unemployed (2023)[22]
Main industries
ExportsDecrease $35.210 billion (FY 2023)[23]
Export goods
Main export partners
ImportsDecrease $60.013 billion (FY 2023)[23]
Import goods
Main import partners
FDI stock
  • Decrease $31.540 billion
  • Decrease Abroad: $1.870 billion (31 Dec 2021)[27]
Increase -2.557 billion US$ (FY 2023)[28]
Positive decrease $125.7 billion (Mar 2023)[29]
Public finances
Negative increase 73.5% of GDP (Jun 2022)[30]
Negative increase −7.9% of GDP (FY 2022)[31]
RevenuesDecrease 12.0% of GDP; 8,035 billion PKR or $45 billion (FY 2022)[31]
ExpensesNegative increase 19.9% of GDP; 13,295 billion PKR $75 billion (FY 2022)[31]
Economic aidIncrease $2.6983 billion (2021)[32]


  • Outlook: Negative
Increase $13.4bn (11 Aug 2023)[38] (115th)
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

The economy of Pakistan is classified as a developing economy. It is the 23rd-largest in terms of GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP) and 46th largest in terms of nominal GDP. As of 2023, the country has a population of 243 million people. As of FY23, the nominal GDP of Pakistan stands at US$341.5 billion with a nominal GDP per capita of US$1,568 (177th); its GDP based on PPP stands at US$1.583 trillion with a GDP (PPP) per capita of US$6,836 (168th).[7]

In the formative decades of Pakistan, the economy was largely based on private industries. Nationalization of significant portion of the sector including financial services, manufacturing and transportation had begun in the early 1970s under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. With the beginning of Zia-ul Haq's regime in the 1980s, a more "Islamic" economy was adopted which outlawed economic practices forbidden in Sharīʿah and mandated traditional religious practices instead. Although, the economy began to privatise in the 1990s.

The growth poles of Pakistan's economy are situated along the Indus River;[39][40] the diversified economies of Karachi and major urban centres in Punjab (such as Faisalabad, Lahore, Sialkot, Rawalpindi and Gujranwala), co-existing with lesser developed areas in other parts of the country.[39] Pakistan was classified as a semi-industrial economy for first time in late 1990s albeit an underdeveloped country[41] with heavy dependence on agriculture, textile industry being dependent on cotton production.[42][39][43] Primary export commodities include textiles, leather goods, sports equipment, chemicals, and carpets/rugs.[44][45]

Pakistan is currently undergoing a process of economic liberalization, including the privatization of all government corporations, which is aimed at attracting foreign investment and decreasing budget deficits.[46] However, the country continues to face the challenges of rapidly growing population, high illiteracy, corruption, political instability, a hostile neighborhood and heavy foreign debt.

Economic history

The Late 1940s: Dawn of a New National Economy

In the late 1940s, when Pakistan came into existence in 1947, its economy was primarily agrarian. Agriculture contributed 53% of the country's GDP in 1947 and a slightly higher 53.2% in 1949-50. During this period, Pakistan had a population of around 30 million, with approximately 6 million living in urban areas. Remarkably, about 65% of the labor force was engaged in agriculture, and the agricultural sector played a pivotal role, contributing to 99.2% of exports and accounting for nearly 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

Despite Pakistan's considerable wealth in terms of land and mineral resources in both East and West Pakistan, including valuable resources like natural gas, crude oil, coal, limestone, and marble, the nation grappled with a multitude of challenges. Its per capita income stood at roughly $360 (in 1985 international dollars) in 1950, and the literacy rate was a mere 10%. Pakistan faced a dearth of economic infrastructure, financial resources, and an industrial foundation. The West Pakistan region, in particular, experienced poverty rates ranging from 55% to 60%.

Given the scarcity of capital in Pakistan's relatively small private sector, the government turned to the public sector as a means to foster the development of the economic and industrial base. In the fiscal year 1949-50, Pakistan recorded a national savings rate of 2%, a foreign savings rate of 2%, and an investment rate of 4%. Manufacturing contributed 7.8% to the country's GDP, while the services, trade, and other sectors accounted for a substantial 39%, reflecting a policy centered around import-substituting industrialization. The trade balance of payments revealed a deficit of 66 million Rupees (Rs) during the period spanning 1949/50 to 1950/51.[47]

The 1950s: Transitioning from a Traditional Economy

The 1950s marked the beginning of planned development in Pakistan. Following the launch of the Colombo Plan in 1951, Pakistan initiated a series of Five-Year Plans that spanned from 1955 to 1998. Alongside these plans, a Ten-Year Perspective Plan was introduced, complemented by a rolling Three-Year Development Plan.

During the 1950s, Pakistan adhered to a policy of import-substituting industrialization. Notably, during the Korean War (1950-1953), Pakistan's public and emerging private sectors benefited from substantial merchant profits. These profits were channeled into industrial capital, fueling the country's industrialization process.

In 1952, Pakistan imposed bans on the imports of cotton textiles and luxury goods, followed by comprehensive import regulations in 1953. Consequently, Pakistan joined the ranks of the fastest-growing nations during this period. However, biases against agriculture in policy and unfavorable terms of trade between agriculture and industry resulted in a decline in the annual growth rate of agriculture, dropping from 2.6% in 1949/50-1950/51 to 1.9% in 1957/58-1958/59.

By the late 1950s, Pakistan had achieved self-sufficiency in cotton textiles, and export development assumed significant importance. This coincided with an influx of US military and economic aid amounting to US$500 million during 1955-58, leading Pakistan into a phase of growth reliant on foreign aid in the 1950s.

In 1959, following a military coup d'état in 1958, the martial law regime introduced export bonus vouchers, which functioned as import licenses. Additionally, a list of goods was declared exempt from import licenses. During this period, Pakistan experienced a deterioration in its trade balance, with deficits increasing from -831 million Rupees in 1950/51 to -1043 million Rupees in 1959/60, primarily due to a sharp decline in exports from 1,038 million Rupees in 1950/51 to 763 million Rupees in 1959/60.

Economically, agriculture grew at an annual rate of 1.6%, while manufacturing expanded at an impressive rate of 7.7% per annum during the 1950s. In the fiscal year 1959-60, the Per Capita Gross National Product (GNP) stood at Rs. 355 in West Pakistan and Rs. 269 in East Pakistan, illustrating a growing economic disparity between the two regions.[47]

The 1960s: A Decade of Economic Expansion

Amidst a substantial influx of American aid, Pakistan experienced political stability that facilitated robust economic growth throughout the 1960s. During this period, the prevalence of poverty, expressed as the poverty headcount ratio as a percentage of the population, ranged from nearly 50% in the early 1960s to 54% in 1963-64.

In the 1960s, Pakistan achieved an impressive agricultural growth rate of 5% annually. This was made possible through substantial investments in water resources, increased incentives for farmers, mechanization of agricultural production processes, greater utilization of fertilizers and pesticides, and expanded cultivation of high-yielding varieties of rice and wheat being part of the green revolution.

Additionally, large-scale manufacturing experienced significant growth, expanding at a remarkable rate of 16% per annum during the period spanning 1960/61 to 1964/65. This growth was driven by protective measures for domestic industries, including subsidies for exporters.

However, the Pakistan-India War of 1965 resulted in reduced foreign economic assistance, which had repercussions on the growth rate of large-scale manufacturing. During the subsequent period of 1965-70, this sector grew at a comparatively lower rate of 10% per annum.

Despite these challenges, Pakistan achieved an impressive average annual GDP growth rate of 6.7% throughout the decade from 1960 to 1970. In the fiscal year 1969-70, the poverty incidence rate decreased to 46%. At that time, the Per Capita GNP was Rs. 504 in West Pakistan and Rs. 314 in East Pakistan, indicating a widening regional economic disparity as observed previously.[47]

The 1970s: A Period Dominated by Socialism

The economic landscape in the early 1970s was marked by growing economic disparities between East Pakistan and West Pakistan, which eventually led to East Pakistan's declaration of independence and its emergence as the independent nation of Bangladesh in 1971. In the aftermath, Pakistan saw significant changes in its political and economic landscape.

The martial law authorities, amidst challenging macroeconomic conditions, empowered the socialist Pakistan People's Party. This period was marked by several economic challenges, including a rise in poverty incidence to 55% during 1971-72. Additionally, Pakistan faced increased import costs due to the global oil price shock in October 1973, a severe global recession from 1974 to 1977, crop failures in the cotton sector in 1974-75, pest infestations affecting crops, and massive floods in 1973, 1974, and 1976-77.

One of the notable economic issues during this period was high inflation, with prices increasing by an average of 15% per annum between 1972 and 1977. The fiscal deficit/GDP ratio averaged 8.1% during the years 1973-77, reflecting significant fiscal challenges. Trade imbalances were also evident, with trade deficits amounting to US$337 million in 1970-71 and soaring to US$1,184 million in 1976-77.

The military coup d'état of 1977, leading to the establishment of a martial law regime that implemented denationalization, deregulation, and privatization policies. Agriculture saw modest growth at a rate of 2.4% per annum, while large-scale manufacturing expanded at a rate of 5.5% per annum during the 1970s.

A significant share of value-added and investment in manufacturing during the 1970s was contributed by large and medium-scale private manufacturing, accounting for 75% of the total. The remaining 25% of value-added came from small-scale manufacturing.

Lahore the second largest city of Pakistan.

Overall, this period was characterized by significant political and economic changes, driven by the challenges posed by economic disparities, political shifts, and efforts to address economic issues such as inflation, fiscal deficits, and trade imbalances.[47]

The 1980s: A Decade Marked by the Revival of Economic Growth

The 1980s brought significant changes to Pakistan's economic landscape, marking a departure from the nationalization policies of the 1970s and ushering in a revival of private sector industrial investment, which contributed to robust economic growth. During this decade, several notable developments occurred:

  1. Poverty Reduction: Poverty incidence declined, with the poverty headcount ratio dropping to 29.1% in 1986-87.
  2. Unemployment Rate: The unemployment rate exhibited a favorable trend, decreasing from 3.7% in 1980 to 2.6% in 1990.
  3. Islamic Interest-Free Banking: Between 1985 and 1988, the government made efforts to implement an Islamic interest-free banking system. This system introduced Islamic business partnerships, where entrepreneurs and capital owners shared profits and losses, adhering to Islamic financial principles.
  4. National Savings: Pakistan achieved a notable national savings/GDP ratio of 16% in 1986-87, mainly attributed to substantial inflows of worker remittances from the Middle East.
  5. Fiscal Challenges: Despite the growth in national savings, Pakistan faced challenges related to negative public savings and a declining public investment/GDP ratio throughout the 1980s. These fiscal difficulties stemmed from the rapid growth in the public sector's non-development expenditures and a declining tax revenue/GDP ratio.
  6. Budget Deficits: To cover the increasing budget deficits in the early 1980s, the government relied heavily on non-bank domestic borrowing. This led to substantial growth in domestic debt, which surged from Rs. 58 billion in mid-1981 to Rs. 521 billion in 1988.
  7. Public Debt: As a consequence of the domestic debt explosion, the public debt/GDP ratio reached 77.1% in 1988, 81.9% in 1989, and 82.6% in 1990. This elevated level of public debt resulted in significant interest payments, increased public expenditure, and persistent fiscal deficits.
  8. Democracy Restoration: In 1985, democracy was restored in Pakistan, marking a significant political development during this period.
  9. Economic Growth: Pakistan experienced a commendable average annual GDP growth rate of 6.3% between 1980 and 1990.
  10. Manufacturing and Agricultural Growth: The 1980s saw a surge in manufacturing exports, with an annual large-scale manufacturing growth rate of 8.8%. Additionally, agriculture exhibited solid growth, with an annual agricultural growth rate of 5.4%.
Islamabad the capital of Pakistan.

These hallmarks of the 1980s highlight a period of economic transformation and recovery, marked by a shift in economic policies, improved fiscal performance, and notable progress in poverty reduction and employment. The era was also characterized by efforts to align financial practices with Islamic principles and significant economic growth in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors.[47]

The 1990s: A Decade Plagued by Debt Crisis

The 1990s presented Pakistan with several economic challenges and developments, including:

  1. Remittances and External Deficits: Pakistan faced declining worker remittances and rising external deficits during this decade.
  2. Inflation: The 1990s witnessed the second-worst inflation in Pakistan's history, attributed to declining GDP growth rates.
  3. Unemployment: The unemployment rate sharply increased, reaching 5.9% in 1991 and further rising to 7.2% in 2000.
  4. External Debt: By 1995, Pakistan's external debt amounted to US$30 billion, marking a tripling of external debt during the 1980-1995 period.
  5. Debt Ratios: The external debt/GDP ratio increased from 42% to 50% during 1980-1995, while the external debt/exports ratio increased from 209% to 258%. The debt service ratio also rose significantly from 18% to 27%.
  6. Domestic Debt: Due to a deteriorating external debt profile, Pakistan's domestic debt rose to Rs. 909 billion, and the domestic debt/GDP ratio reached 42%.
  7. Debt Crisis: A severe debt crisis emerged in the late 1990s, with the public debt/GDP ratio soaring from 57.5% in 1975-77 to 102% in 1998-99. The public debt/revenues ratio also surged to 624%, and the interest payments/revenues ratio reached 42.6%. Pakistan's public debt became unsustainable during this period.
  8. Risk of Default: The likelihood of external debt default became a concern in 1996 and 1998, primarily due to Western economic sanctions imposed in response to Pakistan's nuclear tests in May 1998. These sanctions triggered massive capital flight.
  9. Economic Performance: Despite these challenges, Pakistan managed to maintain an agricultural growth rate of 4.4% per annum and a large-scale manufacturing growth rate of 4.8% per annum throughout the 1990s.
  10. Poverty Incidence: Poverty incidence increased significantly, reaching 30.6% in 1998-99.

The 1990s were marked by a complex economic landscape, with Pakistan grappling with external debt, fiscal imbalances, inflation, and rising unemployment. Despite these difficulties, there were positive aspects such as growth in key sectors like agriculture and manufacturing. However, the decade also witnessed a significant increase in poverty incidence and the looming threat of debt default due to Western sanctions.[47]

The 2000s: A Decade Defined by Economic Crisis

In the 2000s, Pakistan faced a series of economic challenges and transformations, including:

  1. High Public Debt Impact: In 2001, the official Debt Reduction and Management Committee identified high public debt as a significant factor contributing to a decline in the growth rate to less than 4% per annum.
  2. Macroeconomic Crises: The 2000s saw a continuation of macroeconomic crises, despite an initial improvement in the growth rate. In 2004-05, Pakistan achieved a growth rate of 8.6%, but subsequent years were marked by a growth slowdown, low growth, high inflation, an energy crisis, and deteriorating fiscal and balance of payments positions.
  3. Poverty Incidence: Poverty incidence increased to 34.5% in 2000-01, highlighting the challenges faced by the population. However, there was a subsequent decrease to 22.3% in 2005-06.
  4. Unemployment Rate: The unemployment rate rose to 7.8% in 2002 but later declined to 5% by 2008.
  5. Adult Literacy: Adult literacy stood at 55% in 2007-08, reflecting efforts to improve education and literacy rates.
  6. Economic Crises: Pakistan experienced economic crises in 2008, with the prime effect of the global financial crisis in 2009-10.
  7. Economic Growth: In 2009-2010, the inflation-adjusted growth rate reached a respectable 4.1%. The agricultural sector achieved a growth rate of 2%, the industrial output grew at 4.9%, large-scale manufacturing grew at 4.4%, and the services sector expanded at a rate of 4.6%.
  8. Public Debt: By March 2010, the total public debt amounted to Rs. 8,160 billion, with a total public debt/GDP ratio of 56%. The foreign-currency denominated debt/GDP ratio was 25%.
  9. Structural Transition: Pakistan underwent a significant structural transition during this period. The GDP share of agriculture declined from 53% in 1947 to 21.2% in 2010, while the GDP share of industry rose from 9.6% in 1949-50 to 25.4% in 2010. Additionally, the GDP share of the services sector increased from 37.2% in 1950 to 53.4% in 2010.[47]


Gross domestic product (GDP)

The following table shows the main economic indicators from 1980 to 2022. Inflation below 5% is in green.[48]

Year GDP

(Billion US $ PPP)

GDP per capita



(Billion US $ nominal)

GDP per capita

(US$ nominal)

GDP growth


Inflation rate




Government debt

(% of GDP)

1980 79.0 950.0 34.8 418.9 Increase7.3% Negative increase11.9% n/a n/a
1981 Increase91.8 Increase1,072.8 Increase41.2 Increase481.3 Increase6.4% Negative increase11.9% n/a n/a
1982 Increase104.9 Increase1,190.0 Increase45.0 Increase511.0 Increase7.6% Negative increase5.9% n/a n/a
1983 Increase116.4 Increase1,283.6 Decrease42.0 Decrease463.7 Increase6.8% Negative increase6.4% 3.9% n/a
1984 Increase125.4 Increase1,345.3 Increase45.6 Increase489.8 Increase4.0% Negative increase6.1% Positive decrease3.8% n/a
1985 Increase140.6 Increase1,468.4 Steady45.6 Decrease476.7 Increase8.7% Negative increase5.6% Positive decrease3.7% n/a
1986 Increase152.5 Increase1,551.3 Increase46.7 Decrease475.3 Increase6.4% Increase3.5% Positive decrease3.3% n/a
1987 Increase165.4 Increase1,638.5 Increase48.8 Increase483.9 Increase5.8% Increase4.7% Positive decrease3.1% n/a
1988 Increase182.2 Increase1,759.4 Increase56.3 Increase543.1 Increase6.4% Negative increase8.8% Steady3.1% n/a
1989 Increase198.5 Increase1,868.3 Increase58.7 Increase552.0 Increase4.8% Negative increase7.9% Steady3.1% n/a
1990 Increase215.4 Increase1,970.1 Increase58.9 Decrease538.4 Increase4.6% Negative increase9.1% Steady3.1% n/a
1991 Increase234.1 Increase2,094.8 Increase66.9 Increase598.4 Increase5.4% Negative increase12.6% Negative increase5.9% n/a
1992 Increase257.5 Increase2,211.1 Increase71.5 Increase614.2 Increase7.6% Increase4.8% Steady5.9% n/a
1993 Increase269.2 Increase2,252.4 Increase75.7 Increase633.6 Increase2.1% Negative increase9.8% Positive decrease4.7% n/a
1994 Increase286.9 Increase2,341.1 Increase76.3 Decrease622.8 Increase4.4% Negative increase11.3% Negative increase4.8% 64.8%
1995 Increase307.8 Increase2,449.6 Increase89.2 Increase709.9 Increase5.1% Negative increase13.0% Negative increase5.4% Positive decrease58.0%
1996 Increase334.1 Increase2,594.8 Increase93.1 Increase723.5 Increase6.6% Negative increase10.8% Steady5.4% Negative increase58.2%
1997 Increase345.6 Increase2,620.8 Decrease91.8 Decrease696.4 Increase1.7% Negative increase12.8% Negative increase6.1% Negative increase58.5%
1998 Increase361.7 Increase2,678.9 Decrease91.4 Decrease677.0 Increase3.5% Negative increase6.8% Positive decrease5.9% Negative increase59.5%
1999 Increase382.2 Increase2,765.6 Decrease86.6 Decrease626.5 Increase4.2% Negative increase5.7% Steady5.9% Negative increase67.2%
2000 Increase406.1 Increase2,855.1 Increase89.7 Increase630.3 Increase3.9% Increase3.6% Negative increase7.8% Negative increase68.4%
2001 Increase423.4 Increase2,916.7 Decrease87.4 Decrease602.0 Increase3.7% Increase4.4% Steady7.8% Negative increase72.2%
2002 Increase443.4 Increase2,995.0 Increase87.9 Decrease593.9 Increase2.4% Increase3.5% Negative increase8.3% Positive decrease67.6%
2003 Increase473.5 Increase3,119.8 Increase101.1 Increase666.1 Increase5.6% Increase3.1% Steady8.3% Positive decrease62.7%
2004 Increase522.6 Increase3,376.5 Increase118.8 Increase767.8 Increase7.7% Increase4.6% Positive decrease7.7% Positive decrease56.3%
2005 Increase587.3 Increase3,722.9 Increase132.8 Increase842.0 Increase7.5% Negative increase9.3% Steady7.7% Positive decrease52.3%
2006 Increase640.6 Increase3,986.8 Increase154.5 Increase961.4 Increase5.6% Negative increase7.9% Positive decrease6.2% Positive decrease48.4%
2007 Increase694.4 Increase4,244.6 Increase171.5 Increase1,048.4 Increase5.5% Negative increase7.8% Positive decrease5.2% Positive decrease47.1%
2008 Increase743.0 Increase4,362.9 Increase191.4 Increase1,124.0 Increase5.0% Negative increase12.0% Steady5.2% Negative increase51.9%
2009 Increase750.5 Decrease4,314.4 Decrease189.0 Decrease1,186.5 Increase0.4% Negative increase19.6% Negative increase5.5% Negative increase52.8%
2010 Increase779.1 Increase4,386.4 Increase199.4 Decrease1,122.7 Increase2.6% Negative increase10.1% Negative increase6.0% Negative increase54.5%
2011 Increase824.1 Increase4,545.1 Increase240.4 Increase1,325.8 Increase3.6% Negative increase13.7% Steady6.0% Positive decrease52.8%
2012 Increase847.1 Increase4,577.9 Increase252.5 Increase1,364.8 Increase3.8% Negative increase11.0% Steady6.0% Negative increase56.7%
2013 Increase883.4 Increase4,679.4 Increase260.3 Increase1,378.6 Increase3.7% Negative increase7.4% Steady6.0% Negative increase57.9%
2014 Increase931.7 Increase4,838.4 Increase275.1 Increase1,428.4 Increase4.1% Negative increase 8.6% Steady6.0% Positive decrease57.1%
2015 Increase981.6 Increase4,998.5 Increase304.5 Increase1,550.5 Increase4.1% Increase4.5% Positive decrease5.9% Positive decrease57.0%
2016 Increase1,010.7 Increase5,048.9 Increase313.6 Increase1,566.6 Increase4.6% Increase2.9% Steady5.9% Negative increase60.8%
2017 Increase1,058.5 Increase5,159.0 Increase339.2 Increase1,653.4 Increase4.6% Increase4.1% Positive decrease5.8% Negative increase60.9%
2018 Increase1,149.8 Increase5,481.8 Increase356.2 Increase1,698.0 Increase6.1% Increase3.9% Steady5.8% Negative increase64.8%
2019 Increase1,206.9 Increase5,641.0 Decrease321.1 Decrease1,500.7 Increase3.1% Negative increase6.7% Negative increase6.9% Negative increase77.5%
2020 Increase1,209.9 Decrease5,544.0 Decrease300.4 Decrease1,376.5 Decrease-0.9% Negative increase10.7% Positive decrease6.6% Negative increase79.6%
2021 Increase1,332.6 Increase5,986.6 Increase348.2 Increase1,564.4 Increase5.7% Negative increase8.9% Positive decrease6.3% Positive decrease74.9%
2022 Increase1,512.5 Increase6,662.1 Increase376.5 Increase1658.4 Increase6.0% Negative increase12.1% Positive decrease6.2% Negative increase77.8%

Stock market

Statue of a bull outside Islamabad Stock Exchange.

In the first four years of the twenty-first century, Pakistan's KSE 100 Index was the best-performing stock market index in the world as declared by the international magazine "Business Week".[49][citation needed] The stock market capitalisation of listed companies in Pakistan was valued at $5,937 million in 2005 by the World Bank.[50] On 11 January 2016, aimed to help reduce market fragmentation and create a strong case for attracting strategic partnerships necessary for providing technological expertise all the three stock exchanges including Karachi Stock Exchange, Lahore Stock Exchange and Islamabad Stock Exchange were inducted into a unified Pakistan Stock Exchange.[51] In May 2017 American provider of stock market indexes and analysis tools, MSCI has confirmed that the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has been reclassified from Frontier Markets to Emerging Markets in its semi-annual index review.[52] Pakistan Stock exchange also successfully powered through initial COVID-19 induced economic downturn and earned the title of being the ‘best Asian stock market and fourth best-performing market across the world in 2020.’ The PSE-100 index continued to climb throughout the year. Nearly 40 percent growth in the PSE-100 Index in FY 2021 was driven by government's large stimulus package, central bank's stable policy rate, an uptick in large scale manufacturing, improvement in external accounts and reforms introduced by the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and PSX in the wake of COVID-19.[53]

PSX 100 index growth rate[54]

List FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
PSX 100 index growth % Increase 34.1 Increase 37.9 Decrease -10.8 Decrease -41.7 Increase 35.7 Increase 28.5 Increase 10.4 Increase 52.2 Increase 41.2 Increase 16.0 Increase 9.8 Increase 23.2 Decrease-10.0 Decrease-19.1 Increase 1.5 Increase 37.6 Decrease -12.3

The sales of all companies (non-financial) surged to Rs 9,521 billion in the fiscal year 2021, posted a substantial increase of Rs 1,465 billion when compare to a decline of Rs 807 billion in preceding year. EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) recorded an increase of Rs 433 billion (53.21 percent YoY growth) during FY21, as the General, administrative & other expense witnessed relatively smaller rise in the same period. The interest expenses dropped to Rs 224 billion in FY21 from Rs 299 billion in FY20, resulted into a massive YoY increase of Rs 514 billion in profit before taxation. Besides, profit after tax of all companies rose by Rs 404 billion, posted a YoY growth of 125.06 percent during FY21 over FY20. Net profit margin of all companies jumped up to 7.64 in FY21 from 4.01 in FY20, primarily because of exceptional improvement in private sector companies’ net profit margin. Return on assets (ROA), and return on equity (ROE) of all companies rose to 6.37 percent and 17.93 percent in FY21 as compare to 3.10 percent and 8.91 percent in the preceding year. Private sector companies were the prime contributors in the improvement of ROA and ROE, the public sector companies contributed marginally. The key statistics of all public and private companies (non-financial) listed at Pakistan Stock Exchange have been given in the following table;[55]

Financial Analysis of Companies (Non-Financial) (Billion Rupees)
List 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Total Assets 6,781 Increase 7,672 Increase 8,845 Increase 10,131 Increase 10,712 Increase 12,143
Total Liabilities 4,024 Negative increase 4,646 Negative increase 5,598 Negative increase 6,628 Negative increase 6,955 Negative increase 7,780
Shareholders' Equity 2,757 Increase 3,025 Increase 3,247 Increase 3,503 Increase 3,756 Increase 4,363
Total Sales 5,504 Increase 6,405 Increase 7,702 Increase 8,863 Decrease 8,056 Increase 9,521
Profit Before Tax 498 Increase 606 Increase 613 Decrease 612 Decrease 482 Increase 996
Profit After Tax 361 Increase 435 Decrease 431 Decrease 412 Decrease 323 Increase 728
Net Profit Margin 6.55 Increase 6.79 Decrease 5.59 Decrease 4.65 Decrease 4.01 Increase 7.64
Return on Assets 0.84 Increase 0.89 Increase 0.93 Steady 0.93 Decrease 0.77 Increase 0.83
Return on Equity 13.77 Increase 15.03 Decrease 13.76 Decrease 12.20 Decrease 8.91 Increase 17.93
earnings per share 3.91 Increase 4.49 Decrease 4.47 Decrease 4.17 Decrease 3.18 Increase 6.87

Middle class

The Dawood Centre in Karachi, M.T. Khan Road

As of 2017, according to Wall Street Journal, citing estimates largely based on income and the purchase of consumption goods, had suggested that as many as 42% of Pakistan's population may now belong to the upper and middle classes. If these numbers are correct, or even indicative in any broad sense, then 87 million Pakistanis belong to the middle and upper classes, a population size which is larger than that of Germany.[56] Official figures also show that the proportion of households that own a motorcycle and washing machines has grown impressively over the past 15 years.[57] Furthermore, the IBA-SBP Consumer Confidence Index recorded its highest-ever level of 174.9 points in January 2017, showing an increase of 17 points from July 2016.

Separately, consumer financing recorded at Rs. 179 billion during the FY 2022. Auto finance continued to be the dominated segment, followed by House building which showed remarkable growth after the Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar scheme which was initiated by State Bank of Pakistan in December 2020. Under the scheme, 100 billion rupees have been disbursed by the banks until June 30, 2022. Total amount approved by banks reached to Rs. 236 billion while requested amount crossed half a tillion rupees.[56][58]

Poverty alleviation expenditures

Pakistan government spent over 1 trillion rupees (about $16.7 billion) on poverty alleviation programmes during the past four years, cutting poverty from 35% in 2000–01 to 29.3% in 2013 and 17% in 2015.[59] Rural poverty remains a pressing issue, as development there has been far slower than in the major urban areas.


The high population growth in the past few decades has ensured that a very large number of young people are now entering the labor market. Even though it is among the six most populous Asian nations. In the past, excessive red tape made firing from jobs, and consequently hiring, difficult.[60] Significant progress in taxation and business reforms has ensured that many firms now are not compelled to operate in the underground economy.[61]

Government revenues and expenditures

Clifton in Karachi.

Although the country is a Federation with constitutional division of taxation powers between the Federal Government and the four provinces, the revenue department of the Federal Government, the Federal Board of Revenue, collects more than 80% of the entire national tax collection. Pakistan's fiscal landscape is characterized by a dynamic interplay between revenues and expenditures, shaping the nation's economic trajectory. The government's revenue streams primarily stem from two sources: taxation and non-tax revenue. Taxation, which includes income tax, sales tax, and customs duties, constitutes a substantial portion of revenues, bolstering both federal and provincial government finances. Non-tax revenue sources, such as mark-up from state enterprises, surplus profits from the State Bank of Pakistan, and royalties on oil and gas, further contribute significantly to the fiscal framework.

Conversely, government expenditures are strategically allocated across multiple sectors, including defense, social services, infrastructure development, and debt servicing. Current expenditures, covering operational costs, interest payments, pensions, and other obligations, are carefully balanced against development expenditures aimed at fostering long-term growth and progress. The challenge of achieving equilibrium between revenue generation and expenditure allocation leads to budgetary deficits that can necessitate borrowing to bridge the gap.

Data is taken from Ministry of Finance.[62]

Consolidated Federal and Provincial Fiscal Operations (Amounts in billion PKR)
List FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022 FY 2023
Total Revenue Increase 1,499 Increase 1,851 Increase 2,078 Increase 2,253 Increase 2,567 Increase 2,982 Increase 3,637 Increase 3,931 Increase 4,447 Increase 4,937 Increase 5,228 Decrease 4,901 Increase 6,272 Increase 6,903 Increase 8,035 Increase 9,634
Tax Revenue Increase 1,065 Increase 1,317 Increase 1,473 Increase 1,699 Increase 2,053 Increase 2,199 Increase 2,565 Increase 3,018 Increase 3,660 Increase 3,969 Increase 4,467 Increase 4,473 Increase 4,748 Increase 5,272 Increase 6,755 Increase 7,819
FBR Taxes Increase 1,008 Increase 1,161 Increase 1,327 Increase 1,558 Increase 1,883 Increase 1,946 Increase 2,255 Increase 2,590 Increase 3,113 Increase 3,368 Increase 3,842 Decrease 3,830 Increase 3,998 Increase 4,764 Increase 6,143 Increase 7,169
Total Expenditure Negative increase 2,277 Negative increase 2,531 Negative increase 3,007 Negative increase 3,447 Negative increase 3,936 Negative increase 4,816 Negative increase 5,026 Negative increase 5,388 Negative increase 5,796 Negative increase 6,801 Negative increase 7,488 Negative increase 8,346 Negative increase 9,649 Negative increase 10,307 Negative increase 13,295 Negative increase 16,155
Fiscal Deficit Negative increase777 Positive decrease680 Negative increase929 Negative increase1,194 Negative increase1,370 Negative increase1,834 Positive decrease1,389 Negative increase1,457 Positive decrease1,349 Negative increase1,864 Negative increase2,260 Negative increase3,445 Positive decrease3,376 Negative increase3,403 Negative increase5,260 Negative increase6,521
As % of GDP
Total Revenue Increase14.1 Decrease14.0 Steady14.0 Decrease12.3 Increase12.8 Increase13.3 Increase14.5 Decrease14.3 Decrease13.6 Increase13.9 Decrease13.3 Decrease11.2 Increase13.2 Decrease12.4 Decrease12.0 Decrease11.4
Tax Revenue Increase9.9 Decrease9.1 Increase9.9 Decrease9.3 Increase10.2 Decrease9.8 Increase10.2 Increase11.0 Decrease10.4 Steady10.4 Increase10.8 Decrease9.7 Decrease9.3 Decrease9.4 Increase10.1 Decrease9.2
Total Expenditure Negative increase21.4 Positive decrease19.2 Negative increase20.2 Positive decrease18.9 Negative increase21.4 Negative increase21.5 Positive decrease20.0 Positive decrease19.6 Positive decrease17.7 Negative increase19.1 Steady19.1 Steady19.1 Negative increase20.3 Positive decrease18.5 Negative increase19.9 Positive decrease19.1
Fiscal Deficit Negative increase7.3 Positive decrease5.2 Negative increase6.2 Negative increase6.5 Negative increase8.8 Positive decrease8.2 Positive decrease5.5 Positive decrease5.3 Positive decrease4.1 Negative increase5.2 Negative increase5.8 Negative increase7.9 Positive decrease7.1 Positive decrease6.1 Negative increase7.9 Positive decrease7.7

Currency system


Pakistani Rupee banknotes.

The basic unit of currency is the rupee, ISO code PKR and abbreviated Rs, which is divided into 100 paisas. Currently, 5,000 rupee note is the largest denomination in circulation. From 13 August 2005, the SBP started introducing its fifth generation design of banknotes with additional security features, with the Rs. 20 note being the first issuance. New designs of Rs. 5 (July 2008, later replaced by a coin) 10 (May 2006), Rs. 20 (March 2008, new color scheme), Rs. 50 (July 2008), Rs. 100 (November 2006), Rs. 500 (January 2010), Rs. 1000 (February 2007) and Rs. 5000 (May 2006) were gradually introduced.[63][64][65]

The Pakistani rupee was pegged to the pound sterling until 1982, when the government of General Zia-ul-Haq, changed it to a managed float regime. As a result, the rupee devalued by 38.5% between 1982/83 many of the industries built by his predecessor suffered with a huge surge in import costs. After years of appreciation under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and despite huge increases in foreign aid, the rupee depreciated.

Foreign exchange rate

The Pakistani rupee depreciated against the US dollar until around the start of the 21st century, when Pakistan's large current-account surplus pushed the value of the rupee up versus the dollar. Pakistan's central bank then stabilised by lowering interest rates and buying dollars, in order to preserve the country's export competitiveness.

US$ to PKR average exchange rates[66]
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
62.55 78.50 83.80 85.50 89.23 96.73 102.86 101.29 104.23 104.70 109.84 136.09 158.02 160.02 177.45 248.04

Foreign exchange reserves

Pakistan maintains foreign reserves with State Bank of Pakistan. The currency of the reserves was solely US dollar incurring speculated losses after the dollar prices fell during 2005, forcing the then Governor SBP Ishrat Hussain to step down. In the same year, the SBP issued an official statement proclaiming diversification of reserves in currencies including Euro and Yen, withholding ratio of diversification.

Following the international credit crisis and spikes in crude oil prices, Pakistan's economy could not withstand the pressure and on 11 October 2008, State Bank of Pakistan reported that the country's foreign exchange reserves had gone down by $571.9 million to $7749.7 million.[67] The foreign exchange reserves had declined more by $10 billion to a level of $6.59 billion. In June 2013, Pakistan was on the brink of default on its financial commitments. The country's forex reserves were at a historic low covering only two weeks' worth of imports. In January 2020, Pakistan's Foreign exchange reserves stood at US$11.503 billion.[68]

Amounts in Billion US dollars[69][70]
List Jun 2008 Jun 2009 Jun 2010 Jun 2011 Jun 2012 Jun 2013 Jun 2014 Jun 2015 Jun 2016 Jun 2017 Jun 2018 Jun 2019 Jun 2020 Jun 2021 Jun 2022 Jun 2023
Total Reserves Decrease 11.4 Increase 12.4 Increase 16.8 Increase 18.2 Decrease 15.3 Decrease 11.0 Increase 14.1 Increase 18.7 Increase 23.1 Decrease 21.4 Decrease 16.4 Decrease 14.5 Increase 18.9 Increase 24.4 Decrease 15.5 Decrease 9.2
SBP Reserves 8.6 9.1 13.0 14.8 10.8 6.0 9.1 13.5 18.1 16.1 9.8 7.3 12.1 17.3 9.9 4.5
Banks Reserves 2.8 3.3 3.8 3.5 4.5 5.0 5.0 5.2 5.0 5.3 6.6 7.2 6.8 7.1 5.6 4.7

Structure of economy

Agriculture accounted for about 53% of the GDP in 1947. While per-capita agricultural output has grown since then, it has been outpaced by the growth of the non-agricultural sectors, and the share of agriculture has dropped to roughly one-fifth of Pakistan's economy. In recent years, the country has seen rapid growth in industries (such as apparel, textiles, and cement) and services (such as telecommunications, transportation, advertising, and finance).

Sectoral Shares % in GDP (at constant basic prices)[71]
Sectors FY 2000 FY 2005 FY 2010 FY 2015 FY 2020 FY 2023
Agricultural Decrease 31.75 Decrease 28.15 Decrease 25.89 Decrease 24.83 Decrease 23.53 Decrease 22.91
Industrial Increase 16.73 Increase 19.01 Increase 19.04 Increase 19.11 Decrease 18.53 Decrease 18.47
Services Increase 51.52 Increase 52.84 Increase 55.07 Increase 56.06 Increase 57.94 Increase 58.61

Major sectors


Yellow and green fields in Punjab.

Majority of the population, directly or indirectly, dependent on this sector. It contributes about 23.0% percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for 37.4% of employed labor force in 2021 and is the largest source of foreign exchange earnings.[72] The most important crops are wheat, sugarcane, cotton, and rice, which together account for more than 75% of the value of total crop output. Pakistan's largest food crop is wheat. In 2017, Pakistan produced 26,674,000 tonnes of wheat, almost equal to all of Africa (27.1 million tonnes) and more than all of South America (25.9 million tonnes), according to the FAOSTAT.[73] In the previous market year of 2018/19 Pakistan exported a record 4.5 million tonnes of rice as compared to around 4 MMT during the corresponding period in the previous year.[74]

Pakistan is a net food exporter, except in occasional years when its harvest is adversely affected by droughts. Pakistan exports rice, cotton, fish, fruits (especially Oranges and Mangoes), and vegetables and imports vegetable oil, wheat, pulses and consumer foods.[75] The economic importance of agriculture has declined since independence, when its share of GDP was around 53%. Following the poor harvest of 1993, the government introduced agriculture assistance policies, including increased support prices for many agricultural commodities and expanded availability of agricultural credit. From 1993 to 1997, real growth in the agricultural sector averaged 5.7% but has since declined to about 4%. Agricultural reforms, including increased wheat and oil seed production, play a central role in the government's economic reform package.

% growth [54][76][77]
List FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Agriculture sector Increase 0.81 Increase 3.41 Increase 0.31 Increase 2.71 Increase 3.23 Increase 3.14 Increase 2.42 Increase 1.78 Increase 0.41 Increase 2.22 Increase 3.88 Increase 0.94 Increase 3.91 Increase 3.52 Increase 4.27
Production of Important Crops (Million Tonnes)
Wheat Decrease 20.9 Increase 24.0 Decrease 23.3 Increase 25.2 Decrease 23.5 Increase 24.2 Increase 26.0 Decrease 25.1 Increase 25.6 Increase 26.7 Decrease 25.1 Decrease 24.3 Increase 25.2 Increase 27.5 Decrease 26.4
Rice Increase 5.6 Increase 6.9 Steady 6.9 Decrease 4.8 Increase 6.2 Decrease 5.6 Increase 6.8 Increase 7.0 Decrease 6.8 Steady 6.8 Increase 7.5 Decrease 7.2 Increase 7.4 Increase 8.4 Increase 9.3
Sugarcane Increase 63.9 Decrease 50.0 Decrease 49.4 Increase 55.3 Increase 58.4 Increase 63.8 Increase 67.5 Decrease 62.8 Increase 65.5 Increase 75.5 Increase 83.3 Decrease 67.2 Decrease 66.4 Increase 81.0 Increase 88.7
Cotton * Decrease 11.7 Increase 11.8 Increase 12.9 Decrease 11.5 Increase 13.6 Decrease 13.0 Decrease 12.8 Increase 14.0 Decrease 9.9 Increase 10.7 Increase 11.9 Decrease 9.9 Decrease 9.1 Decrease 7.1 Increase 8.3
Maize Increase 3.6 Steady 3.6 Decrease 3.3 Increase 3.7 Increase 4.3 Decrease 4.2 Increase 5.0 Decrease 4.9 Increase 5.3 Increase 6.1 Decrease 5.9 Increase 6.8 Increase 7.9 Increase 8.9 Increase 9.5

* cotton production in million bales.

Pakistan's principal natural resources are arable land and water. About 25% of Pakistan's total land area is under cultivation and is watered by one of the largest irrigation systems in the world. Pakistan irrigates three times more acres than Russia. Pakistan agriculture also benefits from year round warmth. Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited is the largest financial institution geared towards the development of agriculture sector through provision of financial services and technical expertise.


Factory in Pakistan.

Pakistan's industrial sector accounts for approximately 19.12% of GDP.[71] In 2021 it recorded a growth of 7.81% as compared to the growth of negative 5.75% in 2020.[76] The government is privatizing large-scale industrial units, and the public sector accounts for a shrinking proportion of industrial output, while growth in overall industrial output (including the private sector) has accelerated. Government policies aim to diversify the country's industrial base and bolster export industries. Large Scale Manufacturing is the fastest-growing sector in Pakistani economy.[78] Major Industries include textiles, fertiliser, cement, oil refineries, dairy products, food processing, beverages, construction materials, clothing, paper products and shrimp.

In Pakistan SMEs have a significant contribution in the total GDP of Pakistan, according to SMEDA and Economic survey reports, the share in the annual GDP is 40% likewise SMEs generating significant employment opportunities for skilled workers and entrepreneurs. Small and medium scale firms represent nearly 90% of all the enterprises in Pakistan and employ 80% of the non-agricultural labor force. These figures indicate the potential and further growth in this sector.

% growth[76]
List FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Industrial sector Increase 8.78 Decrease -4.15 Increase 3.95 Increase 4.87 Increase 2.33 Increase 1.16 Increase 4.34 Increase 5.40 Increase 6.01 Increase 4.61 Increase 9.18 Increase 0.25 Decrease -5.75 Increase 8.20 Increase 6.83
Manufacturing Increase 6.14 Decrease -3.94 Increase 1.73 Increase 2.61 Increase 2.01 Increase 5.37 Increase 5.76 Increase 4.12 Increase 4.03 Increase 4.87 Increase 7.08 Increase 4.52 Decrease -7.80 Increase 10.52 Increase 10.86
Mining Increase 3.70 Decrease -1.04 Increase 2.42 Decrease -4.04 Increase 5.26 Increase 1.77 Increase 1.02 Increase 3.95 Increase 5.64 Decrease -0.89 Increase 7.26 Increase 0.54 Decrease -7.17 Increase 1.72 Decrease -7.00
Construction Increase13.37 Decrease-6.70 Increase7.27 Decrease-7.97 Increase2.17 Increase5.40 Increase3.19 Increase8.33 Increase14.37 Increase10.20 Increase19.55 Decrease-18.14 Decrease-3.08 Increase 2.39 Increase 1.90


It is the largest of Pakistan's industrial sectors, accounting for approximately 12.13% of GDP.[79] Manufacturing sub-sector is further divided in three components including large-scale manufacturing (LSM) with the share of 79.6% percent in manufacturing sector, small scale manufacturing share is 13.8 percent in manufacturing sector, while slaughtering contributes 6.5 percent in the manufacturing.[80] Major sectors in industries include cement, fertiliser, edible oil, sugar, steel, tobacco, chemicals, machinery, food processing and medical instruments, primarily surgical.[81][82][83] Pakistan is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of surgical instruments.[84][85]

Production of Selected Manufactured Goods[86]
Manufactured Goods Unit of quantity 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cotton Yarn Metric Tonne (000) 3,406 3,428 3,430 3,431 3,060 3,442 3,459
Jute Goods 55 60 74 67 65 70 58
Vegetable Ghee 1,241 1,280 1,347 1,392 1,454 1,455 1,393
Cooking Oil 380 390 391 406 442 460 510
Sugar 5,115 7,049 6,566 5,260 4,881 5,694 7,921
Cement 35,432 37,022 41,148 39,924 39,121 49,797 48,011
Paper & Board 610 669 731 704 707 730 825
Caustic Soda 225 224 270 247 342 394 405
Hydrogen Chloride 172 177 251 425 361 417 510
Sulphuric Acid 75 56 49 49 40 72 111
Cotton Cloth Million Meters 1,039 1,043 1,044 1,046 935 1,048 1,051
Cigarettes Billion Numbers 54 34 59 61 46 52 60
Nitrogenous Fertilizers NT (000) 3,018 3,063 2,758 2,990 3,139 3,324 3,391
Phosphatic Fertilizers 664 683 619 633 631 748 804
Cycle Tyres & Tubes Numbers (000) 11,490 11,507 11,470 14,491 13,496 10,314 10,876
Motor Tyres & Tubes 34,202 34,345 35,057 36,321 35,678 31,906 30,296
Motorcycle 2,071 2,501 2,825 2,460 1,813 2,476 2,190
Bicycle 199 200 200 174 141 79 141
Electric Transformers 33 37 47 31 23 29 35
Refrigerators 1,477 1,834 1,348 1,084 716 1,351 1,389
Air Conditioners 388 471 451 518 216 508 540
Electric Fans 2,033 2,523 2,596 2,591 2,124 2,499 2,600
Electric Meters 1,310 1,923 1,715 1,550 1,039 1,419 2,030
Jeeps & Cars Numbers 180,717 193,996 231,738 218,845 106,764 182,389 271,923
Tractors Numbers 34,914 53,975 71,894 49,902 32,608 50,700 58,922
Trucks & Buses Numbers 8,331 10,548 13,425 9,684 4,848 5,977 7,934

Pakistan's largest corporations are mostly involved in utilities like oil, gas, electricity, automobile, cement, food, chemicals, fertilizer, civil aviation, textile, and telecommunication.

Their assets, sales and profit/loss for year 2021 is listed below:[55]

Amounts are in Billion PKR
Name Total Assets Sales Profit / (Loss) after Tax
Oil and Gas Development Co. Ltd. 955.994 239.104 91.534
Pakistan State Oil Co. Ltd. 379.260 1204.247 29.139
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited 918.060 757.627 10.986
K-Electric 835.677 325.049 11.998
Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. 536.883 148.429 52.431
Sui Southern Gas Co. Ltd 528.937 297.167 (18.363)
Lucky Cement Ltd. 361.398 207.159 28.229
Fauji Fertilizer Co. Ltd. 270.541 114.345 35.693
The Hub Power Co. Ltd. 278.248 54.639 34.830
Indus Motor Co. Ltd. 133.906 179.162 12.829
Shell Pakistan Ltd. 84.933 249.210 4.467
Attock Petroleum Ltd. 61.898 188.645 4.920
Byco Petroleum 131.638 142.150 2.943
Pak Suzuki Motor Co. Ltd. 91.990 160.082 2.679
Pakistan Telecommunication Co. Ltd. 480.843 137.625 2.575
Engro Fertilizers Ltd. 132.818 132.363 21.093
National Refinery Ltd. 75.682 139.625 1.770
Nestle Pakistan Ltd. 65.404 133.295 12.768
Packages Ltd. 117.692 80.322 7.150
Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Ltd. 115.210 110.452 6.391
Attock Refinery Ltd. 111.529 127.836 (2.234)
Pakistan Tobacco Co. Ltd. 52.359 74.988 18.862
Nishat Mills Ltd. 131.112 71.431 5.922
Engro Polymer & Chemicals Ltd. 77.966 70.022 15.061
Bestway Cement Ltd. 98.898 56.864 11.578
Gul Ahmed Textile Mills Ltd. 92.964 88.356 5.266
Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Ltd. 285.557 88.089 (53.483)
Cement industry

In 1947, Pakistan had inherited four cement plants with a total capacity of 0.5 million tons. Some expansion took place in 1956–66 but could not keep pace with the economic development and the country had to resort to imports of cement in 1976–77 and continued to do so until 1994–95. The cement sector consisting of 27 plants is contributing above Rs 30 billion to the national exchequer in the form of taxes. However, by 2013, Pakistan's cement is fast-growing mainly because of demand from Afghanistan and countries boosting real estate sector. The government has introduced an incentive package for the construction industry in April 2020, which stimulated the industry especially the private sector housing projects. Package included amnesty scheme, tax exemptions and Rs 36 billion subsidy for Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme. Further, banks were directed to increase construction sector loans to 5 percent of their total loan book and FED reduction on cement from Rs 2/kg to Rs 1.5/kg have given impetus to this industry.[87]

Cement production capacity & dispatches (million tonnes)[88][89]
Indicators 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Production Capacity 37.68 42.28 45.34 42.37 44.64 44.64 44.64 45.62 45.62 46.39 48.66 59.74 63.63 69.26 69.92 83.18
Local Dispatches 22.58 20.33 23.57 22.00 23.95 25.06 26.15 28.20 33.00 35.65 41.15 40.34 39.97 48.12 47.64 40.01
Exports 7.72 10.98 10.65 9.43 8.57 8.37 8.14 7.20 5.87 4.66 4.75 6.54 7.85 9.31 5.26 4.57
Total Dispatches 30.30 31.31 34.22 31.43 32.52 33.43 34.28 35.40 38.87 40.32 45.89 46.88 47.81 57.43 52.89 44.58
Fertilizer industry

Fertilizer is an important and costly input responsible for 30 to 50 percent increase in the crop productivity. The overall objective is sustainability and growth in agricultural sector that should match the growing population for food security and the promotion of economic growth. There are nine urea manufacturing plants, one DAP, three NP, four SSP, two CAN, one SOP and two plants of blended NPKs having a total production capacity of 9,172 thousand tonnes per annum in 2021. Urea is main fertilizer having 70 percent share in total production. Installed production capacity of 6,307 thousand tonnes per annum is enough to meet local demand subject to the availability of uninterrupted gas and RLNG supply.

Fertilizer Offtake by Nutrients ('000 tonnes)[90]
Nutrients 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Nitrogen 2925 3034 3476 3133 3207 2853 3185 3308 2672 3730 3435 3408 3415 3711
Phosphorus 630 651 860 767 633 747 881 975 1007 1269 1279 1153 1084 1228
Potassium 27 25 24 32 21 21 24 33 20 41 50 53 50 69
Defence industry
Captured Tank in Pakistan Army Museum

The defence industry of Pakistan, under the Ministry of Defence Production, was created in September 1951 to promote and coordinate the patchwork of military production facilities that have developed since independence. It is currently actively participating in many joint production projects such as Al Khalid 2 tank, advance trainer aircraft, combat aircraft, Artillery Systems like MRLS, Combat and Surveillance drones like GIDS Shahpar-1 and Shahpar-2, Battle Management and Surveillance Radars, Electronic warfare systems, navy ships, and submarines. Pakistan is manufacturing and selling weapons to over 40 countries including European customers, bringing in $620 million annually. The country's sophisticated arms imports increased by 119 percent between 2004–2008 and 2009–13, with China providing 54pc and the USA 27pc of Pakistan's imports.

Textiles industry

Most of the Textile Industry is established in Punjab. Before 1990, the situation was different; most of the industry was in Karachi.

Currently, the textile industry comprises two main components: a highly organized large-scale sector and a significantly fragmented cottage/small-scale sector. The organized sector primarily encompasses integrated Textile Mills, housing numerous spinning units and a limited number of shuttle-less loom units. On the other hand, the unorganized sector encompasses downstream industries like Weaving, Finishing, Garment, Towels, and Hosiery, all of which hold substantial export potential. Within this sector, certain enterprises have expanded to an international scale and exhibit progressive business philosophies.

Sunday textile market on the sidewalks of Karachi, Pakistan.

As of June 2021, the Pakistani textile industry consists of 517 textile units, comprising 40 composite units and 477 spinning units. This landscape also encompasses 28,500 shuttle-less looms and 375,000 conventional looms. The Spinning Sector's growth has been driven by export demands and cotton production, with subsequent growth observed in the Weaving & Processing Sector. Notably, independent air-jet weaving units have been established, both as standalone entities and in conjunction with spinning or processing units.

A noteworthy trend is the ongoing backward integration of some clothing units, while concurrently, spinning units are actively developing weaving, finishing, and assembly capabilities to create a comprehensive supply chain. This symbiotic relationship between the Textile and Clothing sectors is leading to horizontal and vertical integration, often managed by the same entities or through business collaborations.[91]

This sector contributes nearly one-fourth of industrial value-added and provides employment to about 40 percent of industrial labor force. Barring seasonal and cyclical fluctuations, textiles products have maintained an average share of about 60 percent in national exports.

Automobile Industry
Cars on Shahrah-e-Faisal road Karachi.

The auto sector constitutes about 7 percent to LSM in 2021, which accounts for the significant industrial output of the country. According to PBS, automobile recorded 23.4 percent upsurge during July–March FY2021. In 2021, government has announced Pakistan's new Auto Policy 2021–2026.[92] Given government support, removal of irritants is soon going to bear fruits in the wake of industrial expansion as many new investors have joined with commercial production while the existing players have already made huge investments and a lot more is in waiting. Among the automakers that are yet to start production, Proton, MG, and Volkswagen are the names that could make a significant impact in the local passenger vehicle market. Meanwhile, KIA, Hyundai, Changan, and Prince DFSK have already started productions in Pakistan.[93]

Production & Sale of Vehicles[94]
Type 2006 2011 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Car P 170,487 133,972 179,944 188,936 217,774 209,255 94,325 151,794 226,433 101,984
S 165,965 127,944 181,145 185,781 216,786 207,630 96,455 151,182 234,180 96,811
Truck P 4,518 2,901 5,666 7,712 9,326 6,035 2,945 3,808 5,659 3,072
S 4,273 2,942 5,550 7,499 9,331 5,828 3,088 3,695 5,802 3,182
Bus P 825 490 1,070 1,118 803 913 532 570 661 701
S 927 515 1,017 1,130 762 935 559 652 696 654
Jeep & Pick-Up P 21,624 20,025 36,609 27,795 42,778 31,978 15,633 31,073 44,421 31,333
S 21,471 18,553 36,534 27,338 42,006 33,016 15,507 30,215 45,087 30,067
Farm Tractor P 48,887 70,770 34,914 53,975 71,894 49,902 32,608 50,751 58,880 31,726
S 48,802 69,203 33,986 54,992 70,887 50,405 32,727 50,920 58,947 30,942
2/3 Wheelers P 520,124 838,665 1,362,096 1,632,965 1,928,757 1,782,605 1,370,417 1,902,415 1,826,467 1,185,532
S 516,640 835,455 1,358,643 1,630,735 1,931,340 1,781,959 1,370,005 1,903,932 1,821,885 1,186,969

Note: These figures do not include the production / sale of companies which are not members of Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA).

After the entry of new models and brands by new entrants and due to the significant low benchmark interest rate of 7%, the consumer financing hit an all-time high in 2021. This trend started when a new Automotive Development Policy (2016-2021) was first approved by the ECC in its meeting held on March 18, 2016.

Such growth in demand for car financing was last seen during President Pervez Musharraf's regime (2001-2008) when banks, having ample liquidity, lent significant amount for cars without checking borrowers’ capabilities whether they were able to repay the debt. Later on, the car financing bubble busted when a large number of people defaulted on paying off the car financing.

Outstanding Loans of Consumer Financing for Automobiles (Billion PKR)[58]
Jun 2006 Jun 2007 Jun 2010 Jun 2015 Jun 2016 Jun 2017 Jun 2018 Jun 2019 Jun 2020 Jun 2021 Jun 2022 Jun 2023
97.78 105.44 64.20 85.12 111.96 154.25 193.60 215.46 211.11 308.10 367.85 293.728


Khewra Salt Mine Jhelum District.

Pakistan is endowed with significant mineral resources and is emerging as a very promising area for prospecting/exploration for mineral deposits. Based on available information, the country's more than 6,00,000 km2 of outcrops area demonstrates varied geological potential for metallic and non-metallic mineral deposits. In the wake of 18th amendment to the constitution all the provinces are free to exploit and explore the mineral resources which are in their jurisdiction. Mining and quarrying contributes 13.19% in industrial sector and its share in GDP is 2.4%.

In the recent past, exploration by government agencies as well as by multinational mining companies presents ample evidence of the occurrences of sizeable minerals deposits. Recent discoveries of a thick oxidised zone underlain by sulphide zones in the shield area of the Punjab province, covered by thick alluvial cover have opened new vistas for metallic minerals exploration. Pakistan has a large base for industrial minerals. The discovery of coal deposits having over 175 billion tonnes of reserves at Thar in the Sindh province has given an impetus to develop it as an alternative source of energy. There is vast potential for precious and dimension stones.

Extraction of principal minerals in the last 8 fiscal years is given in the table below :-[95]

Minerals Unit of Quantity 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Coal Metric ton (000) 3,407 Increase3,750 Increase3,954 Increase4,478 Increase5,407 Increase8,428 Increase9,230 Increase9,677
Natural Gas MMCFT (000) 1,466 Increase1,482 Decrease1,472 Decrease1,459 Decrease1,437 Decrease1,317 Decrease1,279 Increase1,308
Crude Oil JSB (000) 34,490 Decrease31,652 Increase32,269 Increase32,557 Decrease32,495 Decrease28,091 Decrease27,560 Increase28,098
Chromite Metric ton 100,516 Decrease69,333 Increase105,238 Decrease97,420 Increase138,244 Decrease121,435 Increase134,000 Increase195,000
Dolomite Metric ton 223,117 Increase666,755 Decrease301,124 Increase488,825 Decrease472,474 Decrease302,045 Increase388,000 Increase487,000
Gypsum Metric ton (000) 1,417 Increase1,872 Increase2,080 Increase2,476 Increase2,518 Decrease2,150 Increase2,527 Decrease2,325
Limestone Metric ton (000) 40,470 Increase46,123 Increase52,149 Increase70,819 Increase75,596 Decrease65,810 Increase76,632 Decrease58,362
Rock salt Metric ton (000) 2,136 Increase3,553 Decrease3,534 Increase3,654 Increase3,799 Decrease3,369 Decrease3,366 Decrease2,716
Sulphur Metric ton 19,730 Decrease14,869 Increase23,740 Decrease22,040 Decrease20,715 Decrease19,948 Decrease19,000 Decrease16,000
Barytes Metric ton 24,689 Increase57,024 Increase75,375 Increase145,189 Decrease116,480 Decrease55,341 Decrease52,000 Increase128,000
Soap stone Metric ton 100,724 Increase125,985 Increase152,279 Decrease141,504 Increase156,935 Decrease150,009 Increase289,000 n/a
Marble Metric ton (000) 2,816 Increase4,747 Increase4,906 Increase8,813 Decrease7,736 Decrease5,797 Increase7,917 Decrease6,626


Wind power plant between Karachi and Hyderabad.

Main sources of Pakistan primary energy supplies include Gas, Oil, Coal, imported LNG and Hydro electricity with the share of 33.1%, 22.6%, 18.3%, 10.3% and 9.9% respectively in 2020. Since the coal mining in Thar desert and the LNG imports from Qatar, Coal and imported LNG have increased their shares manyfold in just 5 years in primary energy supplies of country. The share of Gas is decreasing from 50% in 2005 to 33% in 2020 and oil since 2015 from 35% to 23% in 2020 and are replacing largely by Coal and LNG. As Pakistan intends to generate around 8,800 megawatts of nuclear power by 2030 and 40,000 megawatts by 2050, its share is also increasing gradually.

Primary Energy Supplies by Source[96]
Fiscal Year Unit Gas Oil Coal LNG






LPG Renewable




2005 MTOE Increase 27.95 Increase 16.33 Increase 4.23 - Decrease 6.13 Increase 0.67 Increase 0.25 - Increase 0.03 Increase 55.59
%Share Increase 50.3 Decrease 29.4 Increase 7.6 - Decrease 11.0 Increase 1.2 Increase 0.5 - Increase 0.0 100
2010 MTOE Increase 30.81 Increase 19.81 Increase 4.62 - Increase 6.71 Increase 0.69 Increase 0.40 - Increase 0.06 Increase 63.09
%Share Decrease 48.8 Increase 31.4 Decrease 7.3 - Decrease 10.6 Decrease 1.1 Increase 0.6 - Increase 0.1 100
2015 MTOE Decrease 29.98 Increase 24.97 Increase 4.95 Increase 0.47 Increase 7.75 Increase 1.38 Increase 0.46 Increase 0.19 Increase 0.11 Increase 70.26
%Share Decrease 42.7 Increase 35.5 Decrease 7.0 Increase 0.7 Increase 11.0 Increase 2.0 Increase 0.7 Increase 0.3 Steady 0.1 100
2020 MTOE Decrease 26.66 Decrease 18.19 Increase 14.71 Increase 8.32 Increase 8.02 Increase 2.58 Increase 1.03 Increase 0.99 Increase 0.12 Increase 80.62
%Share Decrease 33.1 Decrease 22.6 Increase 18.3 Increase 10.3 Decrease 9.9 Increase 3.2 Increase 1.3 Increase 1.2 Increase 0.2 100

(CPPA-G) purchases electricity from power producers and the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) transmits this electricity via its transmission lines to Distribution Companies (DISCOs) which then distribute this electricity via their distribution lines to end consumers. For decades, the matter of balancing Pakistan's supply against the demand for electricity has remained a largely unresolved matter. Since 2018, the availability of electricity has improved with the substantial induction of generation capacity, but the cost of electricity has increased due to many factors like circular debt, fuel cost, currency devaluation, low recovery and Transmission and Distribution losses. Pakistan faces a significant challenge in revamping its network responsible for the supply of electricity.

NEPRA Reports[96]
indicator 2010 2013 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Installed Capacity (MW) Increase 22,064 Increase 23,725 Increase 25,421 Increase 28,712 Increase 35,979 Increase 38,995 Decrease 38,719 Increase 39,772 Increase 43,775
Electricity Generation (GWh) Increase 100,020 Decrease 98,655 Increase 114,093 Increase 120,622 Increase 133,588 Increase 137,005 Decrease 134,242 Increase 143,589 Increase 153,874
Electricity Consumption (GWh) Increase 78,768 Increase 81,389 Increase 94,354 Increase 99,616 Increase 110,891 Increase 113,142 Decrease 112,071 Increase 121,206 Increase 133,665
Transmission losses (%) Positive decrease 3.15 Positive decrease 3.05 Positive decrease 2.57 Positive decrease 2.31 Negative increase 2.43 Negative increase 2.83 Positive decrease 2.76 Negative increase 2.78 Positive decrease 2.62
Distribution losses (%) Negative increase 18.37 Negative increase 18.59 Positive decrease 18.14 Positive decrease 17.93 Negative increase 18.32 Positive decrease 17.61 Negative increase 18.86 Positive decrease 17.95 Positive decrease 17.13
(%) share in Electricity Generation
Hydel Decrease 28.56 Increase 30.44 Decrease 30.29 Decrease 26.59 Decrease 21.01 Increase 24.16 Increase 28.83 Decrease 27.02 Decrease 23.10
Thermal Increase 68.50 Decrease 64.91 Decrease 64.57 Increase 65.34 Increase 68.87 Decrease 65.25 Decrease 60.21 Increase 61.76 Decrease 60.50
Nuclear Decrease 2.67 Increase 4.24 Decrease 3.70 Increase 5.20 Increase 6.78 Decrease 6.67 Increase 7.37 Increase 7.72 Increase 11.89
Renewable Energy Increase 0.01 Increase 0.03 Increase 1.04 Increase 2.45 Increase 2.92 Increase 3.57 Decrease 3.21 Decrease 3.15 Increase 4.18
Import 0.42 Decrease 0.36 Increase 0.38 Decrease 0.35 Decrease 0.33

The total demand for petroleum products remained at 23.1 million tonnes during FY2022. The transport and power sectors are major petroleum consumers, covering around 90 percent of total demand.[97]

Sectoral Consumption of Petroleum Products (FY 2022)
Sector Domestic Industry Agriculture Transport Power Government Overseas Total
Quantity (000) MT 29.522 1,332.899 11.822 17,409.035 3,683.322 373.489 250.121 23,090.210

Pakistan is an importer of petroleum products and crude oil. Imports of petroleum products during FY2022 are around 12.9 million tonnes, valued at more than US$ 11.1 billion. The major imported products are Motor Spirit/Gasoline, High Speed Diesel, and Furnace Oil, with import quantities of 6,502 thousand tonnes, 3,950 thousand tonnes, and 2,258 thousand tonnes, respectively.

Import of Petroleum Products (FY 2022)
Product MS HOBC HSD FO JP-1 Total
Quantity (000) MT 6,502.07 125.62 3,949.97 2,258.20 53.87 12,889.730
Value Million US$ 6,070.38 115.94 3,462.71 1,414.40 47.42 11,110.852

The total production of refineries in Pakistan for the fiscal year 2020-21 reached 10.66 million tons. Among these refineries, PARCO holds the largest share, accounting for 41%, followed by ARL, BPPL, NRL, and PRL with shares of 17%, 16%, 14%, and 12% respectively. OGRA, founded in March 2002, serves as the regulatory body with the primary goals of promoting competition and enhancing private investment and ownership within the petroleum sector by implementing effective and efficient regulations. Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have established their infrastructure, including storage facilities and retail outlets, to market Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricant (POL) products. Motor Spirit (MS) and High-Speed Diesel (HSD) together make up nearly 80% of OMCs' sales. By the conclusion of the fiscal year 2021, OMCs had developed a storage capacity of 0.58 million tons for MS and 0.88 million tons for HSD, distributed across various depots throughout the country. Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) operate a total of 9,978 retail outlets nationwide. Among these, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) holds the highest number of retail outlets, boasting 3,158 outlets, which accounts for approximately 31.65 percent of the total.[98]

Indigenous natural gas supplies accounted for approximately 30 percent of Pakistan's total primary energy supply mix in FY2022. Pakistan maintains an extensive gas network comprising over 13,775 kilometers of transmission pipelines, 157,395 kilometers of main pipelines, and 41,352 kilometers of service pipelines. This network serves the needs of more than 10.7 million consumers throughout the country. During FY 2021-22, the natural gas supply in Pakistan reached 3,982 MMCFD. The country relies on several major gas fields, including Sui, Uch, Qadirpur, Sawan, Zamzama, Badin, Bhit, Kandhkot, Mari, and Manzalai, to meet its domestic demand. Additionally, Pakistan has been importing Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) since 2015, with Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) playing a significant role in alleviating natural gas shortages. In the year 2021-22, approximately 24 percent of the country's gas supplies were sourced from imported RLNG.

In FY 2020-21, the primary consumer of natural gas was the power sector, which accounted for more than 30 percent of the total consumption, equivalent to 1,208 MMCFD. Following the power sector, the domestic sector consumed 21 percent, or 850 MMCFD, while the fertilizer sector consumed 20 percent, totaling 834 MMCFD.[98]


Pakistan's service sector accounts for about 61.7% of GDP.[71] Transport, storage, communications, finance, and insurance account for 24% of this sector, and wholesale and retail trade about 30%. Pakistan is trying to promote the information industry and other modern service industries through incentives such as long-term tax holidays.

% growth[76]
List FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Service sector Increase 4.72 Increase 1.84 Increase 2.63 Increase 2.86 Increase 3.48 Increase 5.13 Increase 3.82 Increase 4.20 Increase 5.03 Increase 5.62 Increase 5.95 Increase 5.00 Decrease -1.21 Increase 5.91 Increase6.59


PTCL's One Stop Shop in Islamabad

After the deregulation of the telecommunication industry, the sector has seen an exponential growth. Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd has emerged as a successful Forbes 2000 conglomerate with over US$1 billion in sales in 2005. The mobile telephone market has exploded many-fold since 2003 to reach a subscriber base of 140 million users in July 2017, one of the highest mobile teledensities in the entire world.[99] Pakistan won the prestigious Government Leadership award of GSM Association in 2006.[100]

In Pakistan, the following are the top mobile phone operators:

  1. Jazz Pakistan (parent: VEON, Netherlands)
  2. Ufone (parent: PTCL (Etisalat), Pakistan/UAE)
  3. Telenor (parent: Telenor, Norway)
  4. Zong (parent: China Mobile, China)

By March 2009, Pakistan had 91 million mobile subscribers – 25 million more subscribers than reported in the same period in 2008. In addition to the 3.1 million fixed lines, while as many as 2.4 million are using Wireless Local Loop connections. Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola along with Samsung and LG remain the most popular brands among customers.[101]

Since liberalisation, over the past four years from 2003 to 2007 the Pakistani telecom sector has attracted more than $9 billion in foreign investments.[102] During 2007–08, the Pakistani communication sector alone received $1.62 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) – about 30% of the country's total foreign direct investment.

According to the PC World, a total of 6.37 billion text messages were sent through Acision messaging systems across Asia Pacific over the 2008/2009 Christmas and New Year period.[103] Pakistan was amongst the top five ranker with one of the highest SMS traffic with 763 million messages. On 14 August 2010, Pakistan became the first country in the world to experience EVDO's RevB 3G technology that offers maximum speeds of 9.3 Mbit/s.

3G and 4G was simultaneously launched in Pakistan on 23 April 2014 through a SMRA auction. Three out of five companies got a 3G licence i.e. Ufone, Mobilink and Telenor while China Mobile's Zong got 3G as well as a 4G licence. Whereas fifth company, Warid Pakistan did not participate in the auction procedure, But they launched 4G LTE services on their existing 2G 1800 MHz spectrum due to Technology neutral terms and became world's first Telecom Company to transform directly from 2G to 4G. With that Pakistan joined the 3G and 4G world. In December 2017, 3G and 4G subscribers in Pakistan reached to 46 millions.[99]

After the successful implementation of Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) in 2019 along with comprehensive mobile manufacturing policy, created a favorable environment for mobile device manufacturing in Pakistan. For the first time in history of Pakistan, local mobile phone manufacturing exceeded the number of mobile phones that were imported in 2021. Mobile Device Manufacturing (MDM) licence have been issued to 26 companies including Samsung, Nokia, Oppo, TECNO, Infinix, Vgotel, Q-mobile etc.[104]

PTA Reports[105][106]
Indicators 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Teledensity 4.31% 6.25% 11.9% 26.24% 44.06% 72.4% 74.1% 77.7% 79.9% 85.3% 89.5%
Cellular Mobile Subscribers (Millions) 2.4 5.0 12.7 34.5 62.3 139.8 151.5 162.3 168.6 184.2 194.6
Broadband Subscribers (Millions) 0.03 0.05 44.8 58.7 71.5 83.8 102.7 118.8
Broadband Penetration 0.0% 0.0% 22.7% 28.1% 33.8% 38.5% 46.9% 53.9%
Cellular Mobile Data Usage (Petabytes) 690 1,262 2,493 4,510 6,855 8,970
Telecom Revenues ( Billion PKR) 118 144 195 236 528 540 606 597 651 694
Telecom contribution to exchequer (Billion PKR) 30.0 38.0 67.1 77.1 100.0 160.9 162.8 115.5 291.9 225.8 325.2
Total Telecom investment ( Million US $ ) 1,473 1,731 4,109 1,133 1,132 840 1,394 1,336 2,073
Mobile (CBU) imports (Million units) 18.11 12.07 16.28 24.51 10.26 1.53
Local Assembly / Manufacturing (Million units) 1.72 5.2 11.74 13.05 24.66 21.94


Air linkage
Jinnah Int. Airport in Karachi, Pakistan.

The year 1955 marked the inauguration of the Pakistan airline's first scheduled international service – to London, via Cairo and Rome. In 1959, the Government of Pakistan appointed Air Commodore Nur Khan as the managing director of PIA. With his visionary leadership, PIA ‘took off’ and within a short span of 6 years, gained the stature and status of one of the world's frontline carriers. In aviation circles, this period has often been referred to as the "golden years of PIA".On 29 April 1964, with a Boeing 720B, PIA earned the distinction of becoming the first airline from a non-communist country to fly into the People's Republic of China. Private sector airlines in Pakistan include Airblue, which serves the main cities within Pakistan in addition to destinations in the Persian Gulf and Manchester in the United Kingdom.

PIA Annual Reports[107]
Indicators 2003 2008 2013 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Route Kilometers 290,129 311,131 411,936 332,303 389,725 705,820 374,054 341,821
Passengers carried (000) 4,556 5,617 4,449 5,203 5,290 2,541 2,657 4,281
Operating Revenue (Billion PKR) 47.952 88.863 95.771 103.490 147.500 94.989 86.185 172.038
Operating Expenses (Billion PKR) 42.574 120.499 123.151 150.524 153.631 95.670 101.212 183.354
Profit+/-Loss after Tax (Billion PKR) +1.298 -36.138 -44.322 -67.328 -52.602 -34.643 -50.101 -88.008
Railway Linkage
Pakistan Railway Train.

Pakistan Railways (PR) is a major mode of transport in the public sector, contributing to the country's economic growth and providing national integration. 13 May 1861 was a historical day when the first railway line was opened for public between Karachi City and Kotri, a distance of 169 Kms. In 1885, the Sindh, Punjab and Delhi Railways were purchased by the Secretary of State for India. On 1 January 1886 this line and other State Railways were integrated and North Western State Railway was formed; which was later on renamed as North Western Railways (NWR). At the time of Independence, the NWR was bifurcated with 1,847 route miles lying in India and 5,048 route miles in Pakistan. In 2022, Pakistan Railways comprised a total of 467 locomotives (462 Diesel Engine and 05 Steam Engines) for the 7,479 km route length. Pakistan Railways employs 60,643 people in the year 2022.

Pakistan Railway Year Books[108]
Indicators 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Route Kilometers 7,791 7,791 7,791 7,791 7,791 7,791 7,479
Track Kilometer 11,881 11,881 11,881 11,881 11,881 11,881 11,492
Passengers Carried (000) 52,192 52,388 54,907 60,387 44,304 28,424 35,681
Goods Carried (000 Tonnes) 5,001 5,630 8,355 8,376 7,412 8,213 8,098
Operating Revenue (Billion PKR) 36.582 40.065 49.570 54.508 47.584 48.649 60.257
Operating Expenses (Billion PKR) 41.858 50.072 52.071 53.772 59.288 56.333 67.562
Net Loss (Billion PKR) 26.532 40.793 37.123 33.491 50.271 47.707 48.325
Road Linkage
Karakoram highway.

The National Highway Authority (NHA) was created, in 1991, through an Act of the Parliament, for planning, development, operation, repair and maintenance of National Highways and Strategic Roads specially entrusted to NHA by the Federal Government or by a Provincial Government or other authority concerned. NHA is custodian of 39 national highways/ motorways/ expressway/ strategic routes having a total length of 12,131 km. It is 4.6% of total national roads network i.e. 263,775 km, however, it carries 80% of commercial traffic and N-5 which is blood-line of Pakistan, carries 65% of this load in the country.

Maritime Linkage
Port of Karachi.

Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) is a National flag carrier. It came into existence by a merger of National Shipping Corporation (NSC) and Pakistan Shipping Corporation in 1979. PNSC has worldwide operations in the Dry Bulk segment of shipping market since incorporation and is involved in transportation of liquid cargo since 1998 locally and internationally. The corporation's head office is located in Karachi. At present, PNSC fleet comprises 11 vessels of various types/sizes (05 Bulk carriers,04 Aframax tankers and 02 LR-1 Clean Product tankers) with a total deadweight capacity (cargo carrying capacity) of 831,711 metric tons, the highest ever carrying capacity since inception of PNSC.[109]


Pakistan has a large and diverse banking system. In 1974, a nationalization program led to the creation of six government-owned banks.[110] A privatization program in the 1990s led to the entry of foreign-owned and local banks into the industry.[110] As of 2010, there were five public-owned commercial banks in Pakistan, as well as 25 domestic private banks, six multi-national banks and four specialized banks.[110]

A part of Downtown Karachi, Showing the MCB Tower and Habib Bank Plaza. The headquarters of many banks in Pakistan can be found here.

Since 2000 Pakistani banks have begun aggressive marketing of consumer finance to the emerging middle class, allowing for a consumption boom (more than a 7-month waiting list for certain car models) as well as a construction bonanza. Pakistan's banking sector remained remarkably strong and resilient during the world financial crisis in 2008–09, a feature which has served to attract a substantial amount of FDI in the sector. Stress tests conducted in June 2008 data indicate that the large banks are relatively robust, with the medium and small-sized banks positioning themselves in niche markets.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics provisionally valued this sector at Rs.807,807 million in 2012 thus registering over 510% growth since 2000.[111]

An article published in Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy by Mete Feridun of University of Greenwich in London with his Pakistani colleague Abdul Jalil presents strong econometric evidence that financial development fosters economic growth in Pakistan.[112]

Financial Statements of Major Banks 2021 (Billion PKR)[113][114]
Bank Total assets Revenue Profit After Tax
STATE BANK OF PAKISTAN 13,608.462 813.285 757.021
HABIB BANK LTD. 4,074.588 151.672 34.271
NATIONAL BANK OF PAKISTAN 3,846.684 134.559 28.008
UNITED BANK LTD. 2,618.166 95.138 30.882
MCB BANK LTD. 1,970.468 84.061 30.811
MEEZAN BANK LTD. 1,902.971 83.813 28.355
BANK AL-HABIB LTD. 1,849.652 69.636 18.702
ALLIED BANK LTD. 2,010.156 61.525 17.314
BANK ALFALAH LTD. 1,734.321 62.522 14.217
HABIB METROPOLITAN BANK LTD. 1,224.416 40.637 13.459
THE BANK OF PUNJAB 1,196.952 37.780 12.440

In recent years, banking through digital channels has been gaining popularity in the country. These channels offer alternatives resulting in faster delivery of financial services to a wide range of customers. Significant progress has been observed in the usage of Internet Banking and Mobile Banking channels during the last few years, which is evident from the fact that in the last 5 year, the internet banking transactions have seen compound annualized growth of 31%, whereas mobile banking transactions have grown by 86% during the said period.. New regulations such as regulations for Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs), Security of Digital Payments, Payment Card Security Regulations, Internet Banking Security Regulations, and Guidelines for White Labels ATMs have been issued by SBP in recent years. These steps have been taken with the motivation to bring in innovation in Payments systems with an adequate balance of security and providing a level playing field to all the stakeholders.

Payment System Infrastructure[115][116][117]
FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Number of Banks 42 45 45 45 44 44 44
Bank branches 13,179 14,293 14,970 15,598 16,067 16,308 17,031
Total Number of ATMs 11,381 12,689 14,019 14,722 15,612 16,355 17,133
Internet Banking Users (000) 1,958 2,347 3,114 3,279 3,983 5,239 8,370
Mobile Phone Banking Users (000) 2,451 2,484 3,386 5,626 8,452 10,873 12,339
POS Machines 50,769 54,490 53,511 56,911 49,067 71,907 104,865
No. of Banks' Accounts (000) 46,491 50,565 53,923 54,731 63,036 67,523
Credit Cards (000) 1,450 1,292 1,454 1,589 1,655 1,721 1,800
Debit Cards (000) 17,858 21,712 24,832 26,698 29,849 30,162
Payment System Statistics[115][117]
FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
PRISM System Transactions (Millions) 0.9 Increase1.1 Increase1.7 Increase2.5 Increase2.6 Increase4.2 Increase4.4
Amount (Billion PKR) 231,711 Increase279,464 Increase361,048 Increase398,169 Decrease394,293 Increase444,574 Increase681,581
E-Banking Transactions (Millions) 543 Increase626 Increase756 Increase870 Increase906 Increase1,183 Increase1,612
Amount (Billion PKR) 37,225 Decrease37,062 Increase47,404 Increase58,821 Increase65,987 Increase86,482 Increase137,857
Paper Based Transactions (Millions) 340 Increase452 Increase467 Decrease465 Decrease425 Decrease396 Decrease392
Amount (Billion PKR) 134,410 Increase139,591 Increase150,362 Decrease145,854 Decrease131,194 Increase151,615 Increase190,393
Total Transactions (Millions) 884 Increase1,079 Increase1,224 Increase1,338 Decrease1,331 Increase1,583 Increase2,008
Amount (Billion PKR) 403,346 Increase456,117 Increase558,814 Increase602,843 Decrease591,474 Increase682,672 Increase1,009,831


House on mountains in Murree.

The property sector has expanded twenty-threefold since 2001, particularly in metropolises like Lahore.[118] Nevertheless, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimated in late 2006 that the overall production of housing units in Pakistan has to be increased to 0.5 million units annually to address 6.1 million backlog of housing in Pakistan for meeting the housing shortfall in next 20 years. The report noted that the present housing stock is also rapidly aging and an estimate suggests that more than 50% of stock is over 50 years old. It is also estimated that 50% of the urban population now lives in slums and squatter settlements. The report said that meeting the backlog in housing, besides replacement of out-lived housing units, is beyond the financial resources of the government. This necessitates putting in place a framework to facilitate financing in the formal private sector and mobilise non-government resources for a market-based housing finance system.[119] To promote affordable housing and home ownership among low to middle-income group, who currently do not own a house, SBP in 2020 has introduced Government's Mark-Up Subsidy Scheme through which subsidized financing is provided to individuals for construction or purchase of a new house. Since then huge demand for house financing has been witnessed by the commercial banks.

Outstanding Loans of Consumer Financing for House Building (Billion PKR)[58]
Jun 2006 Jun 2010 Jun 2015 Jun 2016 Jun 2017 Jun 2018 Jun 2019 Jun 2020 Jun 2021 Jun 2022 Jun 2023
43.205 54.500 40.207 48.153 60.688 82.939 92.561 79.803 103.631 200.765 212.315


Tourism in Pakistan has been stated as being the tourism industry's "next big thing". Pakistan, with its diverse cultures, people and landscapes, has attracted 90 million tourists to the country, almost double to that of a decade ago. Currently, Pakistan ranks 130th in the world by tourist income. Due to threat of terrorism the number of foreigner tourists has gradually declined and the shock of 2013 Nanga Parbat tourist shooting has terribly adversely effected the tourism industry.[120] As of 2016, tourism has begun to recover in Pakistan, albeit gradually, with a current global rank of 130.[121]

Foreign trade, remittances, aid, and investment


Foreign investment had significantly declined by 2010, dropping by 54.6% due to Pakistan's political instability and weak law and order, according to the Bank of Pakistan.[122]

Business regulations have been overhauled along liberal lines, especially since 1999. Most barriers to the flow of capital and international direct investment have been removed. Foreign investors do not face any restrictions on the inflow of capital, and investment of up to 100% of equity participation is allowed in most sectors. Unlimited remittance of profits, dividends, service fees or capital is now the rule. However, doing business has been becoming increasingly difficult over the past decade due to political instability, rising domestic insurgency and insecurity and vehement corruption. This can be confirmed by the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index report degrading its ratings for Pakistan each year since September 2009.

The World Bank (WB) and International Finance Corporation's flagship report Ease of Doing Business Index 2020 ranked Pakistan 108 among 190 countries around the globe, indicating a continuous improvement and taking a jump from 136 last year. The top five countries were New Zealand, Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong and South Korea.[123]

With improvement in ease of doing business ranking and giving an investment friendly road map from government, many new auto sector giants like France's Renault, South Korean's Hyundai and Kia, Chinese JW Forland and German auto giant Volkswagen are considering entry in Pakistan auto market through joint ventures with local manufacturers like Dewan Farooque Motors, Khalid Mushtaq Motors and United Motors.[124] As of March 2022, only the Hyundai Nishat JV materialised.

US oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil has again returned to Pakistan after nearly three decades gap and has acquired 25% shares in offshore drilling in May 2018, with initial survey showing a potential of huge hydrocarbon reserves discovery at offshore.[125]

To boost Pakistan's unstable foreign-exchange reserves, Qatar announced to invest $3 billion the form of deposits and direct investments in the country.[126] By the end of June 2019, Qatar sent the first $500 million to Pakistan.[127][128]

Data is from SBP.[129][130]

Amounts are in million US$
List FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Foreign Direct Investment Increase 5,410 Decrease 3,720 Decrease 2,151 Decrease 1,635 Decrease 821 Increase 1,457 Increase 1,699 Decrease 1,034 Increase 2,393 Increase 2,407 Increase 2,780 Decrease1,362 Increase2,598 Decrease1,821 Increase1,868

Foreign acquisitions and mergers

With the rapid growth in Pakistan's economy, foreign investors are taking a keen interest in the corporate sector of Pakistan. In recent years, majority stakes in many corporations have been acquired by multinational groups.

The foreign exchange receipts from these sales are also helping cover the current account deficit.[134]

Foreign trade

Pakistan witnessed the highest export of US$25.4 billion in the FY 2010–11. However, in subsequent years exports have declined considerably. This declined started from financial year 2014–15 when an international commodity slump set in. This was compounded by structural supply side constraints including energy shortages, high input costs and an overvalued exchange rate. From financial year 2014 to 2016, exports declined by 12.4 percent. Exports growth trend over this period was similar to the world trade growth patterns. Pakistan's external sector continued facing stress during 2016–17. But still Pakistan's merchandise trade exports grew by 0.1 percent during the fiscal year 2016–17. The imports continued to grow at a much faster rate and grew by a large percentage of 18.0 during the FY 2017 as compared to the previous year.[135] World imports had been stagnant between 2011 and 2014 but registered significant drop since early 2015 because of weak commodity and product prices and weak global economic activity. Economic growth was lacklustre in the OECD countries which contributed to the slowdown in China. Furthermore, the ratio between real growth in world imports and world real GDP growth substantially declined. This decline in the import content of economic activity triggered a shift in consumption worldwide from traded towards non-traded goods, import substitution, a slowdown in the pace of trade liberalization, and gave currency to protectionist measures. A bulk of Pakistan's exports are directed to the OECD region and China. Historical data suggest strong correlation between Pakistani exports to imports in OECD and China. As per FY 2016 data, more than half of country's exports are shipped to these two destinations i.e. OECD and China. A decline in Pakistan overall exports, thus occurred in this backdrop.[136]

Note: This is the trade data (export and import) as released by the SBP.[137] This may differ from the data compiled by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

Amounts in billion US dollars
List FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022 FY 2023
Total Exports Increase 24.01 Decrease 23.21 Increase 24.89 Increase 31.11 Decrease 29.73 Increase 31.53 Decrease 30.42 Decrease 29.96 Decrease 27.43 Increase 27.92 Increase 30.62 Decrease 30.22 Decrease 27.97 Increase 31.58 Increase 39.60 Decrease 35.21
Goods Increase 20.45 Decrease 19.13 Increase 19.68 Increase 25.37 Decrease 24.72 Increase 24.80 Increase 25.08 Decrease 24.09 Decrease 21.97 Increase 22.00 Increase 24.77 Decrease 24.26 Decrease 22.54 Increase 25.64 Increase 32.49 Decrease 27.91
Services Decrease 3.56 Increase 4.09 Increase 5.21 Increase 5.75 Decrease 5.01 Increase 6.72 Decrease 5.35 Increase 5.87 Decrease 5.46 Increase 5.92 Decrease 5.85 Increase 5.97 Decrease 5.44 Increase 5.95 Increase 7.10 Increase 7.30
Total Imports Increase 45.44 Decrease 39.22 Decrease 38.12 Increase 43.57 Increase 48.69 Decrease 48.45 Increase 49.66 Increase 50.21 Decrease 50.12 Increase 58.58 Increase 67.95 Decrease 62.81 Decrease 52.40 Increase 62.73 Increase 84.49 Decrease 60.01
Goods Increase 35.28 Decrease 31.67 Decrease 31.13 Increase 35.80 Increase 40.37 Decrease 40.16 Increase 41.67 Decrease 41.36 Decrease 41.12 Increase 48.00 Increase 55.67 Decrease 51.87 Decrease 43.65 Increase 54.27 Increase 71.54 Decrease 51.99
Services Increase 10.16 Decrease 7.56 Decrease 6.99 Increase 7.77 Increase 8.32 Decrease 8.29 Decrease 8.00 Increase 8.85 Increase 9.00 Increase 10.58 Increase 12.28 Decrease 10.94 Decrease 8.75 Decrease 8.46 Increase 12.94 Decrease 8.02
Trade deficit Negative increase 21.43 Positive decrease 16.01 Positive decrease 13.23 Positive decrease 12.46 Negative increase 18.96 Positive decrease 16.92 Negative increase 19.24 Negative increase 20.24 Negative increase 22.69 Negative increase 30.66 Negative increase 37.33 Positive decrease 32.58 Positive decrease 24.43 Negative increase 31.15 Negative increase 44.89 Positive decrease 24.80

Pakistan's imports are showing rising trend at a relatively faster rate due to the increased economic activity as part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), particularly in the Energy sector. The construction projects under CPEC require heavy machinery that has to be imported. It is also observed that the economy is currently being led both by investments as well as consumption, resulting in relatively higher levels of imports. During FY 2018 Pakistan's exports picked up and reached to US$24.8 billion showing a growth of 12.6 percent over previous year FY 2017. Imports on the other hand also increased by 16.2 percent and touched the highest figure of US$56.6 billion. As a result, the trade deficit widened to US$31.8 billion which was the highest since last ten years. Pakistan's exports of goods recorded their highest level of $25.6 billion during the fiscal year 2020–21, higher than the $25.3 billion recorded in 2010–11.


Pakistan's major export commodities since fiscal year 2014 are listed in the table below.[138][139]

Amounts are in Million US$
Commodities FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Knitwear 2,194 Increase 2,264 Increase 2,309 Increase 2,335 Increase 2,615 Increase 2,854 Decrease 2,688 Increase 3,372 Increase 4,516
Ready-made garments 1,834 Increase2,044 Increase2,156 Increase 2,279 Increase 2,477 Increase 2,568 Increase 2,595 Increase 2,820 Increase 3,698
Bed wear 2,062 Increase2,207 Decrease2,126 Increase 2,157 Increase 2,346 Increase 2,347 Decrease 2,230 Increase 2,691 Increase 3,255
Rice 2,108 Decrease2,038 Decrease1,853 Decrease 1,575 Increase 1,933 Increase 2,163 Increase 2,274 Decrease 2,211 Increase 2,760
Cotton cloth 2,734 Decrease2,487 Decrease2,332 Decrease 2,123 Increase 2,176 Decrease 2,174 Decrease 1,942 Decrease 1,884 Increase 2,338
Chemical and pharmaceutical 1,138 Increase1,250 Decrease1,052 Increase 1,113 Increase 1,390 Decrease 1,227 Decrease 1,074 Increase 1,147 Increase 1,482
Cotton yarn 2,053 Decrease1,818 Decrease1,266 Decrease 1,140 Increase 1,249 Decrease 1,202 Decrease 1,081 Decrease 921 Increase 1,200
Towels 756 Decrease716 Increase721 Decrease 679 Increase 750 Decrease 713 Decrease 680 Increase 882 Increase 1,080
Leather manufactures 524 Increase547 Decrease488 Decrease 487 Increase 615 Decrease 503 Decrease 480 Increase 560 Increase 649
Sports goods 587 Decrease585 Decrease539 Increase 552 Decrease 551 Decrease 519 Decrease 458 Increase 471 Increase 507
Surgical goods & medical instruments 378 Increase401 Increase424 Decrease 396 Increase 442 Decrease 438 Decrease 411 Increase 480 Decrease 475


Pakistan's major import commodities since fiscal year 2014 are listed in the table below.[140][141]

Amounts are in Million US$
Commodities FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Petroleum products 9,020 Decrease 7,774 Decrease 5,098 Increase 6,380 Increase 6,768 Decrease 6,039 Decrease 4,190 Increase 4,641 Increase 10,296
Petroleum crude 5,755 Decrease 4,393 2,570 Increase 2,765 Increase 4,310 Increase 4,915 Decrease 2,606 Increase 3,190 Increase 4,602
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) 0 Increase 135 Increase 579 Increase 1,271 Increase 2,036 Increase 2,872 Decrease 2,375 Decrease 1,776 Increase 3,681
Plastic material 1,680 Increase 1,772 Increase 1,791 Increase 1,875 Increase 2,312 Decrease 2,273 Decrease 1,941 Increase 2,460 Increase 3,251
Palm oil 1,922 Decrease 1,681 Decrease 1,600 Increase 1,775 Increase 1,908 Decrease 1,662 Increase 1,752 Increase 2,443 Increase 3,151
Road vehicles 861 Increase 1,025 Increase 1,264 Increase 1,774 Increase 2,182 Decrease 1,934 Decrease 1,276 Increase 2,143 Increase 3,010
Iron and steel 1,540 Increase 1,813 Increase 2,094 Decrease 1980 Increase 2,523 Decrease 2,008 Decrease 1,491 Increase 2,197 Increase 2,854
Raw cotton 532 Decrease 449 Increase 1,127 Decrease 909 Increase 1,198 Decrease 1,181 Increase 1,342 Increase 1,894 Increase 2,283
Telecom 1,217 Increase 1,225 Decrease 1,201 Decrease 1,023 Increase 1,397 Decrease 1,172 Increase 1,637 Increase 2,513 Decrease 2,252
Electrical machinery & apparatus 722 Increase 935 Increase 1,651 Decrease 1,317 Increase 1,801 Decrease 1,287 Decrease 1,135 Increase 1,452 Increase 1,817
Textile Machinery 658 Decrease 492 Increase 529 Increase 652 Decrease 615 Increase 654 Decrease 588 Increase 855 Increase 1,212
Power generating machinery 675 Increase 898 Increase 1,356 Decrease 1,337 Increase 1,577 Decrease 732 Increase 734 Increase 930 Decrease 795

External imbalances

During FY 2017, the increase in imports of capital equipment and fuel significantly put pressure on the external account. A reversal in global oil prices led to increase in POL imports, accompanied by falling exports, as a result the merchandised trade deficit grew by 39.4 percent to US$26.885 billion in FY 2017. While remittances and Coalition Support Fund inflows both declined slightly over the same period last year, however, the impact was offset by an improvement in the income account, mainly due to lower profit repatriations by oil and gas firms.[136]

'The current account deficit increased to US$19.2 billion in FY 2018.[142]

However, the impact of high current deficit on foreign exchange reserves was not severe, as financial inflows were available to the country to partially offset the gap; these inflows helped ensure stability in the exchange rate. Net FDI grew by 12.4 percent and reached US$1.6 billion in the nine-months period, whereas net FPI saw an inflow of US$631 million, against an outflow of US$393 million last year. Encouragingly for the country, the period saw the completion of multiple merger and acquisition deals between local and foreign companies. Moreover, multiple foreign automakers announced their intention to enter the Pakistani market, and some also entered into joint ventures with local conglomerates. This indicates that Pakistan is clearly on foreign investors' radar, and provides a positive outlook for FDI inflows going forward. government's successful issuance of a US$1.0 billion Sukuk in the international capital market, at an extremely low rate of 5.5 percent. Besides, Pakistan continued to enjoy support from international financial institutions (IFIs) like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, and from bilateral partners like China, in the post-EFF period: net official loan inflows of US$1.1 billion were recorded during the period. As a result, the country's FX reserve amounted to US$20.8 billion by 4 May 2017 sufficient to finance around four month of import payments.[136]

Amounts in million US dollars[142]
List FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022 FY 2023
Credit 37.25 35.36 38.14 47.70 48.24 50.20 51.15 52.90 51.24 52.22 55.15 55.79 54.25 65.12 73.20 64.35
Debit 51.12 44.62 42.08 47.49 52.90 52.69 54.28 55.71 56.20 64.49 74.34 69.23 58.70 67.94 90.68 66.91
Net -13.87 -9.26 -3.95 214 -4.66 -2.50 -3.13 -2.82 -4.96 -12.27 -19.20 -13.43 -4.45 -2.82 -17.48 -2.56
As % of GDP
Net Decrease -8.9 Increase -5.7 Increase -2.3 Increase +0.1 Decrease -2.1 Increase -1.1 Decrease -1.3 Increase -1.0 Decrease -1.7 Decrease -4.0 Decrease -6.1 Increase -4.8 Increase -1.7 Increase -0.6

Economic aid

Pakistan receives economic aid from several sources as loans and grants. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), etc. provide long-term loans to Pakistan. Pakistan also receives bilateral aid from developed and oil-rich countries. Foreign aid has been one of the main sources of money for the Pakistani economy. Collection of foreign aid has been one of the priorities of almost every Pakistani Government with the Prime Minister himself leading delegations on a regular basis to collect foreign aid.[143][144]

The Asian Development Bank will provide close to $6 billion development assistance to Pakistan during 2006–9.[145] The World Bank unveiled a lending programme of up to $6.5 billion for Pakistan under a new four-year, 2006–2009, aid strategy showing a significant increase in funding aimed largely at beefing up the country's infrastructure.[146] Japan will provide $500 million annual economic aid to Pakistan.[147] In November 2008, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a loan of 7.6 billion to Pakistan, to help stabilise and rebuild the country's economy. Between the 2008 and 2010 fiscal years, the IMF extended loans to Pakistan totalling 5.2 billion dollars.[148] The government decided in 2011 to cut off ties with the IMF. However the government newly elected in 2013 re-established these ties, and a negotiated a three-year $6.6 billion package which would allow it to deal with on-going debt issues.[149] In May 2019, Pakistan finalised a US$6 billion foreign aid with IMF.[150] This is Pakistan's 22nd such bailout from the IMF.[151]

The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor is being developed with a contribution of mainly concessionary loans from China under the Belt and Road Initiative. Much like BRI, value of CPEC investments transcends any fiat currency and is only estimated vaguely as it spans over decades of past and future industrial development and global economic influence.


The remittances of Pakistanis living abroad has played important role in Pakistan's economy and foreign exchange reserves. The Pakistanis settled in Western Europe and North America are important sources of remittances to Pakistan. Since 1973 the Pakistani workers in the oil rich Arab states have been sources of billions of dollars of remittances.

The 9 million-strong Pakistani diaspora, contributed US$19.3 billion to the economy in FY2017.[152] The major source countries of remittances to Pakistan include UAE, US, Saudi Arabia, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman), Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, UK and EU countries.

Remittances sent home by overseas Pakistani workers have seen a negative growth of 3.0% in the fiscal year 2017 compare to previous year when remittances reached at all-time high of 19.9 billion US dollars. This decline in remittances is mainly due to the adverse economic conditions of Arabian and gulf countries after the fall in oil prices in 2016. However, the recent development activities in the Qatar FIFA World Cup, Dubai Expo, Saudi Arabia's implementation of its Vision 2030 and particularly the recent visit of the P.M to Kuwait should all be helpful in opening new avenues for employment in these countries. Going forward one can expect improvements in the coming years. The SBP's data showed that remittances amounted to $29.4 billion for the year 2021. The government and SBP took measures to incentivise the use of formal channels of sending money home. The orderly foreign exchange market conditions also contributed to the rise in the remittances. Remittances helped improve the country's external sector position despite the challenging global economic conditions due to corona virus pandemic.

Data is taken from SBP and Ministry of Finance.[153][154][54]

Amounts are in billion US$
List FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022 FY 2023
Workers' remittances Increase 6.4 Increase 7.8 Increase 8.9 Increase 11.2 Increase 13.1 Increase 13.9 Increase 15.8 Increase 18.7 Increase 19.9 Decrease 19.4 Increase 19.9 Increase 21.7 Increase 23.1 Increase 29.5 Increase 31.3 Decrease 27.0

Remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis in the fiscal year 2020/21 are as under:[135]

Country (Billion US$)
 Saudi Arabia 7.667
 UAE 6.114
 UK 4.067
 Gulf Cooperation Council 3.310
 USA 2.754
 European Union 2.709
 Australia 0.594
 Canada 0.586
 Malaysia 0.204
 Norway 0.111
 Japan 0.085
  Switzerland 0.041
Other countries 1.130

Economic issues

2022 Pakistan economic crisis

Pakistan bonds
Inverted yield curve in 2019-2020 and 2022
  20 year
  10 year
  5 year
  1 year
Pakistan inflation


Corruption Perceptions Index for Pakistan compared to other countries, 2020

The corruption is on-going issue in the government, claiming to take initiatives against it,[155] particularly in the government and lower levels of police forces.[156] In 2011, the country has had a consistently poor ranking at the Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index with scores of 2.5,[157] 2.3 in 2010,[158] and 2.5 in 2009[159] out of 10.[160] In 2011, Pakistan ranked 134 on the index with 42 countries ranking worse.[161] In 2012, Pakistan's ranking dropped even further from 134 to 139, making Pakistan the 34th most corrupt country in the world, tied with Azerbaijan, Kenya, Ne