Economy of Pakistan

The economy of Pakistan is the 23rd largest in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), and 42nd largest in terms of nominal gross domestic product. Pakistan has a population of over 207 million [26] (the world's 5th-largest), giving it a nominal GDP per capita of $1,641 in 2018,[27] which ranks 147th in the world and giving it s PPP GDP per capita of 5,709 in 2018, which ranks 130th in the world for 2018. However, Pakistan's undocumented economy is estimated to be 36% of its overall economy, which is not taken into consideration when calculating per capita income.[28] Pakistan is a developing country[29][30][31] and is one of the Next Eleven countries identified by Jim O'Neill in a research paper as having a high potential of becoming, along with the BRICS countries, among the world's largest economies in the 21st century.[32] The economy is semi-industrialized, with centres of growth along the Indus River.[33][34][35] Primary export commodities include textiles, leather goods, sports goods, chemicals, carpets/rugs and medical instruments.[36][37]

Growth poles of Pakistan's economy are situated along the Indus River;[34][38] the diversified economies of Karachi and major urban centers in the Punjab, coexisting with lesser developed areas in other parts of the country.[34] The economy has suffered in the past from internal political disputes, a fast-growing population, mixed levels of foreign investment.[39] Foreign exchange reserves are bolstered by steady worker remittances, but a growing current account deficit – driven by a widening trade gap as import growth outstrips export expansion – could draw down reserves and dampen GDP growth in the medium term.[40] Pakistan is currently undergoing a process of economic liberalization, including privatization of all government corporations, aimed to attract foreign investment and decrease budget deficit.[41] In October 2016, foreign currency reserves crossed $24.0 billion[2] which has led to stable outlook on the long-term rating by Standard & Poor's.[42][43] In 2016, BMI Research report named Pakistan as one of the ten emerging economies with a particular focus on its manufacturing hub.[44]

In October 2016, the IMF chief Christine Lagarde confirmed her economic assessment in Islamabad that Pakistan's economy was 'out of crisis'[45] The World Bank predicts that by 2018, Pakistan's economic growth will increase to a "robust" 5.4% due to greater inflow of foreign investment, namely from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.[46] According to the World Bank, poverty in Pakistan fell from 64.3% in 2002 to 29.5% in 2014.[47][48][49] The country's worsening macroeconomic position has led to Moody's downgrading Pakistan's debt outlook to "negative".[50]

In 2017, Pakistan's GDP in terms of purchasing power parity crossed $1 trillion.[51]

Economy of Pakistan
Karachi - A Sea Port and Business hub
Karachi, the financial centre of Pakistan
CurrencyPakistani rupee (PKR)

Rs.1 = 100 paisas[1]

1 USD = 141.84 PKR (April 2019)[2]
1 July – 30 June
Trade organisations
WTO, SAARC, ECO, OIC, SAFTA, AIIB, SCO, IMF, Commonwealth of Nations, World Bank.
GDP$312.408 Billion (Nominal, Dec 2018) [3] $1.141 Trillion (PPP, 2018),[4]
GDP rank23rd (PPP) (2018-19)
42nd (nominal) (2017)
GDP growth
Increase 5.4% (FY 2018) [5]
GDP per capita
$1,641 (nominal, 2018)[6]
GDP by sector
  • Agriculture: 18.86%
  • Industry: 20.91%
  • Services: 60.23% (2018 est.) [7]
Negative increase 9.4% (March 2019) [8]
Population below poverty line
0.9% (April 2019)[9]
(World Poverty Clock estimate)
33.5 medium (2015, World Bank)[10]
Labour force
61.04 million (2015–16) [11]
Labour force by occupation
Unemployment5.7% (2018–19)[12]
Main industries
textiles and apparel, food processing, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, chemicals, cement, mining, machinery, steel, engineering, software and hardware, automobiles, motorcycle and auto parts, electronics, paper products, fertiliser, shrimp, defence products, shipbuilding
Increase 136 (2018) [13]
ExportsIncrease $24.824 billion (FY 2018)[14]
Export goods
  • Textiles ($13,366.0 million)
  • Food ($4,811.2 million)
  • Petroleum ($574.5 million)
  • other manufacture ($4,131.9 million)
  • All others ($1,391.3 million)[15]
Main export partners
 United States 15.6%
 United Kingdom 7.1%
 China 7.0%
 Afghanistan 6%
 United Arab Emirates 5.6%
 Germany 5.5%
 Bangladesh 2.9% (2018 est.)[16]
ImportsNegative increase $56.002 billion (FY 2018)[17]
Import goods
Main import partners
 China 20.5%
 United Arab Emirates 15.9%
 Indonesia 8.0%
 Saudi Arabia 5.5%
 United States 3.7%
 Japan 3.4%
Public finances
Positive decrease 65.6% of GDP (Dec 2018)[19]
RevenuesDecrease15.2% of GDP, Pkr 5228.0 Billion or $47.6 billion(FY 2018) [20]
ExpensesNegative increase21.8% of GDP, Pkr 7488.4 Billion or $68.2 billion(FY 2018) [20]
Foreign reserves
  • SBP : $8.839 Billion
  • Scheduled Banks : $6.871 Billion
  • Total : Increase $15.710 Billion (as on 15 march 2019)[25]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

Economic history

First five decades

Pakistan was a middle class and predominantly agricultural country when it gained independence in 1947. Pakistan's average economic growth rate in the first five decades (1947–1997) has been higher than the growth rate of the world economy during the same period. Average annual real GDP growth rates[52] were 6.8% in the 1960s, 4.8% in the 1970s, and 6.5% in the 1980s. Average annual growth fell to 4.6% in the 1990s with significantly lower growth in the second half of that decade.[53]

Economic resilience

Pakistan GDP Growth Rate 2012-2018
GDP Rate of Growth 2012-2018


Historically, Pakistan's overall economic output (GDP) has grown every year since an 1800 recession. Despite this record of sustained growth, Pakistan's economy had, until a few years ago, been characterised as unstable and highly vulnerable to external and internal shocks. However, the economy proved to be unexpectedly resilient in the face of multiple adverse events concentrated into a four-year (1998–2002) period —

Macroeconomic reform and prospects

Pakistan Nationalhighways
National Highways, Motorways & Strategic Roads of Pakistan.

According to many sources, the Pakistani government has made substantial economic reforms since 2000,[55] and medium-term prospects for job creation and poverty reduction are the best in nearly a decade.

In 2005, the World Bank reported that

"Pakistan was the top reformer in the region and the number 10 reformer globally – making it easier to start a business, reducing the cost to register property, increasing penalties for violating corporate governance rules, and replacing a requirement to license every shipment with two-year duration licences for traders."[56]

Doing business

The World Bank (WB) and International Finance Corporation's flagship report Ease of Doing Business Index 2019 ranked Pakistan 136 among 190 countries around the globe, indicating a continuous improvement and taking a jump from 147 last year. The top five countries were New Zealand, Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong and Korea.[57]

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 have stepped in Pakistan auto market through joint ventures with local manufacturers like Dewan Farooque Motors, Khalid Mushtaq Motors and United Motors.[58]

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.[59]

With recent agreement from Saudi Arabia to invest more than US dollar 15 billion in establishing a mega oil refinery and petrochemical industry in Gwadar more commitments for investments are on its way to come in this sector especially from UAE, Qatar, Malaysia and Italy.

The economy today

In 2019 Pakistan is seeking its thirteenth bailout since the late 1980s as Pakistan's central bank has only $7 billion left in foreign reserves.[60] Inflation is high since 2018. Total debt and external debt as percent of GDP are rising.[61][62]

Economic indicators of Pakistan (2000–2018)

These are economic indicators of Pakistan from Fiscal Year 2000 to 2018.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Index List FY 2004 FY 2005 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 Dec 2018[63]
1 GDP at mp (Billion Rupees)[64] 6,203.7 7,126.2 8,216.2 9,239.8 10,637.8 13,199.7 14,867.0 18,276.4 20,046.5 22,385.7 25,168.8 27,443.0 29,075.6 31,962.6 34,396.5 38,474.0


2 US Dollars, last day average exchange rates[65] 58.1722 (30 Jun) 59.6921 (30 Jun) 60.2138 (30 Jun) 60.4060 (30 Jun) 68.2808 (30 Jun) 81.3896 (30 Jun) 85.4634 (30 Jun) 85.9894 (30 Jun) 94.627 (30 Jun) 99.1141 (30 Jun) 98.8088 (30 Jun) 101.7895 (30 Jun) 104.7619 (30 Jun) 104.8861 (30 Jun) 121.5405 (30 Jun) 138.7921

(31 Dec)

3 Nominal GDP (billion US dollars) 106.6 Increase 119.4 Increase 136.5 Increase 153.0 Increase 155.8 Increase 162.2 Increase 174.0 Increase 212.5 Decrease 211.8 Increase 225.9 Increase 254.7 Increase 269.6 Increase 277.5 Increase 304.7 Decrease 283.0 Decrease 277.2
4 GDP at bp (Billion Rupees)[66] 6,797.9 7,309.1 7,715.8 8,143.0 8,549.1 8,580.0 8,801.4 9,120.3 9,470.3 9,819.1 10,217.1 10,631.6 11,116.8 11,714.1 12,326.5
5 Real GDP growth rate
Increase 7.70% Decrease 7.52% Decrease 5.56% Decrease 5.54% Decrease 4.99% Decrease 0.36% Increase 2.58% Increase 3.62% Increase 3.84% Decrease 3.68% Increase 4.05% Increase 4.06% Increase 4.56% Increase 5.38% Decrease 5.22%

Industrial sector

List 2003–2004 2004–2005 2005–2006 2006–2007 2007–2008 2008–2009 2009–2010 2010–2011 2011–2012 2012–2013 2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016 2016–2017 2017-2018
6 Industrial sector growth rate
17.37% Decrease 6.51% Decrease 3.63% Increase 7.73% Increase 8.47% Decrease -5.21% Increase 3.42% Increase 4.51% Decrease 2.55% Decrease 0.75% Increase 4.53% Increase 5.18% Increase 5.69% Decrease 5.20% Decrease 5.01%
6A Mining and Quarrying sector growth rate
21.78% Decrease -15.83% Increase 3.60% Increase 7.35% Decrease 3.15% Decrease -2.46% Increase 2.75% Decrease -4.42% Increase 5.16% Decrease 3.88% Decrease 1.40% Increase 4.97% Increase 6.19% Decrease -0.38% Increase 3.89%
6B Manufacturing sector growth rate
16.38% Decrease 16.03% Decrease 9.39% Decrease 9.03% Decrease 6.10% Decrease -4.18% Increase 1.37% Increase 2.50% Decrease 2.08% Increase 4.85% Increase 5.65% Decrease 3.88% Decrease 3.69% Increase 5.82% Increase 6.24%
6B(i) Large Scale Manufacturing growth rate
18.83% Decrease 18.12% Decrease 9.92% Decrease 9.58% Decrease 6.10% Decrease -6.04% Increase 0.41% Increase 1.66% Decrease 1.13% Increase 4.46% Increase 5.46% Decrease 3.28% Decrease 2.98% Increase 5.64% Decrease 5.01%
6B(ii) Small Scale Manufacturing growth rate
7.51% Steady 7.51% Increase 8.70% Decrease 8.25% Increase 8.34% Increase 8.57% Decrease 8.47% Increase 8.51% Decrease 8.35% Decrease 8.28% Increase 8.29% Decrease 8.21% Decrease 8.19% Decrease 8.15% Increase 8.17%
6C Slaughtering sector growth rate
3.94% Increase 4.00% Increase 4.05% Decrease 3.16% Increase 3.26% Increase 3.82% Decrease 3.16% Increase 3.67% Decrease 3.53% Increase 3.63% Decrease 3.38% Decrease 3.34% Increase 3.61% Decrease 3.55% Decrease 3.51%

Agricultural sector

Index List 2003–2004 2004–2005 2005–2006 2006–2007 2007–2008 2008–2009 2009–2010 2010–2011 2011–2012 2012–2013 2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016 2016–2017 2017-2018
7 Agriculture sector growth rate
2.85% Increase 7.02% Decrease 1.27% Increase 3.42% Decrease 1.81% Increase 3.50% Decrease 0.23% Increase 1.96% Increase 3.62% Decrease 2.68% Decrease 2.50% Decrease 2.13% Decrease 0.15% Increase 2.18% Increase 3.70%
7(a) Wheat production (million tons)
19.5 Increase 21.6 Decrease 21.3 Increase 23.3 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 25.5
7(b) Rice production (million tons)
4.8 Increase 5.0 Increase 5.5 Decrease 5.4 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 7.4
7(c) Sugarcane production (million tons)
53.4 Decrease 47.2 Decrease 44.7 Increase 54.7 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 73.4 Increase 82.1
7(d) Cotton production (million bales)
10.0 Increase 14.3 Decrease 13.0 Decrease 12.9 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

Commodity producing sector growth rate

Index List 2000s 2003–2004 2004–2005 2005–2006 2006–2007 2007–2008 2008–2009 2009–2010 2010–2011 2011–2012 2012–2013 2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016 2016–2017 2017-2018
8 Commodity producing sector growth rate
3.02% Increase 9.23% Decrease 6.78% Decrease 2.38% Increase 5.48% Decrease 5.05% -0.88% -0.88% Increase 1.76% Increase 3.21% Decrease 3.09% Decrease 1.73% Increase 3.49% Increase 3.63% Decrease 2.92% Increase 3.79% Increase4.84%

Service sector

Index List 2000s 2003–2004 2004–2005 2005–2006 2006–2007 2007–2008 2008–2009 2009–2010 2010–2011 2011–2012 2012–2013 2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016 2016–2017 2017-2018
9 Service sector growth rate
4.79% Increase 6.45% Increase 8.14% Increase 8.20% Decrease 5.58% Decrease 4.94% Decrease 1.33% Increase 3.21% Increase 3.94% Increase 4.40% Increase 5.13% Decrease 4.46% Decrease 4.36% Increase 5.72% Increase 6.52% Decrease 6.43%

Per capita income

Index List 2000s 2003–2004 2004–2005 2005–2006 2006–2007 2007–2008 2008–2009 2009–2010 2010–2011 2011–2012 2012–2013 2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016 2016–2017 2017-2018
10 Per capita income (US dollars)
746.0 Decrease 663.2 Increase 724.1 Increase 897.4 Increase 979.9 Increase 1053.2 Decrease 1026.1 Increase 1072.4 Increase 1274.1 Increase 1320.5 Increase 1333.7 Increase 1388.8 Increase 1514.0 Increase 1530.8 Increase 1632.1 Increase1640.5


Index List 2000s 2003–2004 2004–2005 2005–2006 2006–2007 2007–2008 2008–2009 2009–2010 2010–2011 2011–2012 2012–2013 2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016 2016–2017 2017-2018
11 Consumer price index growth rate
7.3% Positive decrease 4.7% Negative increase 9.3% Positive decrease 7.9% Positive decrease 7.8% Negative increase 12.0% Negative increase 24.6% Positive decrease 10.1% Negative increase 13.7% Positive decrease 11.0% Positive decrease 7.4% Negative increase 8.6% Positive decrease 4.5% Positive decrease 2.9% Negative increase 4.2% Positive decrease 3.8%

Government revenues and expenditures

Index List FY 2004 FY 2005 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 FY2019


12 Government total revenues (billion rupees)
794.1 Increase 900.0 Increase 1076.6 Increase 1298.0 Increase 1499.4 Increase 1850.9 Increase 2077.8 Increase 2252.9 Increase 2566.5 Increase 2982.4 Increase 3637.3 Increase 3931.0 Increase 4447.0 Increase 4936.7 Increase5228.0 2327.1
12-a Total tax revenue (billion rupees)
550.1 Increase 632.6 Increase 753.0 Increase 919.3 Increase 1065.2 Increase 1316.7 Increase 1472.5 Increase 1699.3 Increase 2052.9 Increase 2199.2 Increase 2564.5 Increase 3017.6 Increase 3660.4 Increase 3969.2 Increase4467.2 2082.5
12-a-i FBR tax collection (billion rupees)
- - - - Increase1008.1 Increase1161.2 Increase1327.4 Increase1558.0 Increase1882.7 Increase1946.4 Increase2254.5 Increase2590.0 Increase3112.5 Increase3367.9 Increase3842.1 1795.4
13 Government total expenditures (billion rupees)
923.6 Negative increase 1117.0 Negative increase 1401.8 Negative increase 1675.5 Negative increase 2276.5 Negative increase 2531.3 Negative increase 3007.2 Negative increase 3447.3 Negative increase 3936.2 Negative increase 4816.3 Negative increase 5026.0 Negative increase 5387.8 Negative increase 5796.3 Negative increase 6800.5 Negative increase7488.4 3357.0
14 Fiscal deficit (billion rupees)
129.5 217.0 325.2 377.5 777.2 680.4 929.4 1194.4 1369.7 1833.9 1388.7 1456.7 1349.3 1863.8 2260.4 1029.9
15 Total revenues as % of GDP
14.3% Decrease 13.8% Decrease 13.1% Increase 14.0% Increase 14.1% Decrease 14.0% Steady 14.0% Decrease 12.3% Increase 12.8% Increase 13.3% Increase 14.5% Decrease 14.3% Increase 15.3% Increase 15.5% Decrease15.2%
16 Tax revenue as % of GDP
11.0 Decrease 10.1% Decrease 9.8% Decrease 9.6% Increase 9.9% Decrease 9.1% Increase 9.9% Decrease 9.3% Increase 10.2% Decrease 9.8% Increase 10.2% Increase 11.0% Increase 12.6% Decrease 12.4% Increase13.0%
17 Total expenditures as % of GDP
16.7% Negative increase 17.2% Positive decrease 17.1% Negative increase 18.1% Negative increase 21.4% Positive decrease 19.2% Negative increase 20.2% Positive decrease 18.9% Negative increase 21.4% Negative increase 21.5% Positive decrease 20.0% Positive decrease 19.6% Negative increase 19.9% Negative increase 21.3% Negative increase21.8%
18 Fiscal Deficit as % of GDP
2.4% Negative increase 3.3% Negative increase 4.0% Negative increase 4.1% Negative increase 7.3% Positive decrease 5.2% Negative increase 6.2% Negative increase 6.5% Negative increase 8.8% Positive decrease 8.2% Positive decrease 5.5% Positive decrease 5.3% Positive decrease 4.6% Negative increase 5.8% Negative increase 6.6%

Current account

Amounts in Million US Dollars [81][82]
Index List FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 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


19 Credit 20,570 22,003 27,006 31,761 33,016 37,247 35,357 38,135 47,703 48,243 50,197 51,153 52,920 51,336 51,867 54,430 27,042
20 Debit 16,500 20,192 28,540 36,751 39,894 51,121 44,617 42,081 47,489 52,901 52,693 54,283 55,629 56,203 64,488 73,419 35,025
30 Net Increase 4,070 Increase 1,811 Negative increase -1,534 Negative increase -4,990 Negative increase -6,878 Negative increase -13,874 Positive decrease -9,261 Positive decrease -3,946 Increase 214 Negative increase -4,658 Positive decrease-2,496 Negative increase -3,130 Positive decrease -2,709 Negative increase -4,867 Negative increase -12,621 Negative increase -18,989 -7,983

Government debt and liabilities

  • Total Public Debt = Gross Public Debt + External Liabilities
  • Gross Public Debt = Government (Federal+Provincial) Domestic Debt + Government (Federal+Provincial) External Debt + Debt from IMF
  • Total Debt of Government / Net Public Debt = Gross Public Debt - Government Deposits in the Banking System. (introduced in June 2017)
  • Public External Debt = Government External Debt + Debt from IMF (Foreign Exchange Liabilities are not included)
  • Total External Debt = Public External Debt + Public Sector Enterprises + Banks + Private Sector + Debt Liabilities to Direct Investors
Index List Jun 2005 Jun 2006 Jun 2007 Jun 2008 Jun 2009 Jun 2010 Jun 2011 Jun 2012 Jun 2013 Jun 2014 Jun 2015 Jun 2016 Jun 2017 Jun 2018 Dec 2018
19 Total Public Debt (Billion Rupees)
- - - - 7835.5 Negative increase 9,232.2 Negative increase 10,990.7 Negative increase 12,924.3 Negative increase 14,574.7 Negative increase 16,315.5 Negative increase 17,757.7 Negative increase 20,053.7 Negative increase 21,785.5 Negative increase 25,574.1 Negative increase 28,425.9
19(a) Total Public Debt as % of GDP
- - - - 59.4% Negative increase 62.1% Positive decrease 60.1% Negative increase 64.5% Negative increase 65.1% Positive decrease 64.8% Positive decrease 64.7% Negative increase 69.0% Positive decrease 68.2% Negative increase 74.4% Positive decrease 73.9%
20 Gross Public Debt (Billion Rupees)
- - - - 7,731.1 Negative increase 9,010.4 Negative increase 10,770.8 Negative increase 12,696.7 Negative increase 14,291.7 Negative increase 15,991.3 Negative increase 17,380.2 Negative increase 19,676.6 Negative increase 21,408.7 Negative increase 24,952.9 Negative increase 27,455.9
20(a) Gross Public Debt as % of GDP
- - - - 58.6% Negative increase 60.6% Positive decrease 58.9% Negative increase 63.3% Negative increase 63.9% Positive decrease 63.5% Positive decrease 63.3% Negative increase 67.7% Positive decrease 67.0% Negative increase 72.5% Positive decrease 71.4%
21 Total Debt Of Government / Net Public Debt ( Billion Rupees)
- - - - 7,204.9 Negative increase 8,410.8 Negative increase 9,927.6 Negative increase 11,890.2 Negative increase 13,457.3 Negative increase 14,623.9 Negative increase 15,986.0 Negative increase 17,823.2 Negative increase 19,635.4 Negative increase 23,024.0 Negative increase 25,238.2
21(a) Total Debt Of Government / Net Public Debt as % of GDP
- - - - 54.6% Negative increase 56.6% Positive decrease 54.3% Negative increase 59.3% Negative increase 60.1% Positive decrease 58.1% Negative increase 58.3% Negative increase 61.3% Negative increase 61.4% Negative increase 66.9% Positive decrease 65.6%
22 Public External Debt (Billion US $)
Negative increase 34.0 Negative increase 35.7 Negative increase 38.7 Negative increase 40.7 Negative increase 46.4 Negative increase 49.8 Negative increase 55.3 Positive decrease 53.5 Positive decrease 48.1 Negative increase 51.3 Positive decrease 50.9 Negative increase 57.7 Negative increase 62.5 Negative increase 70.2 Negative increase 71.5
22(a) Public External Debt as % of GDP
Positive decrease 29.6% Positive decrease 26.9% Positive decrease 25.4% Negative increase 26.1% Negative increase 28.6% Negative increase 28.7% Positive decrease 26.0% Positive decrease 25.2% Positive decrease 21.4% Positive decrease 20.2% Positive decrease 18.9% Negative increase 20.8% Positive decrease 20.5% Negative increase 24.8% Negative increase 25.8%
23 Total External Debt (Billion US $) [85][86] Negative increase 35.4 Negative increase 37.2 Negative increase 40.3 Negative increase 46.1 Negative increase 52.3 Negative increase 61.6 Negative increase 66.3 Positive decrease 65.5 Positive decrease 60.9 Negative increase 65.3 Positive decrease 65.2 Negative increase 73.9 Negative increase 83.5 Negative increase 95.3 Negative increase 99.1

Pakistan External Debt Servicing (Principal + Interest)[87]

Index List FY 2004 FY 2005 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


24 Principal (Million US $) 4115 1916 1718 1593 1867 2837 3140 2458 3294 5046 5659 3499 3076 4439 3322 2323
25 Interest (Million US $) 916 867 906 1091 1248 1159 1015 1074 1019 933 909 1172 1346 1625 2316 1378
26 Total (Million US $) 5030 2783 2624 2684 3115 3996 4155 3531 4312 5978 6567 4671 4422 6064 5638 3701

Foreign exchange reserves

Index List 2003–2004 2004–2005 2005–2006 2006–2007 2007–2008 2008–2009 2009–2010 2010–2011 2011–2012 2012–2013 2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016 2016–2017 2017-2018
24 Foreign exchange reserves SBP + Scheduled Banks (Billion US Dollars)
13.2 Increase 13.3 Increase 14.6 Increase 18.9 Decrease 13.4 Increase 14.0 Increase 18.0 Increase 21.0 Decrease 16.5 Decrease 11.0 Increase 14.1 Increase 18.7 Increase 23.1 Decrease 21.4 Decrease 16.4

Foreign direct investment

Index List FY 2004 FY 2005 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 FY2019


25 Foreign direct investment (Million US Dollars)
949.4 Increase 1524.0 Increase 3521.0 Increase 5139.6 Increase 5410.2 Decrease 3719.9 Decrease 2150.8 Decrease 1634.8 Decrease 820.6 Increase 1456.5 Increase 1698.6 Decrease 987.9 Increase 2305.3 Increase 2746.8 Increase 3471.2 1273.8

PSE 100 index growth rate

Index List 2000s 2003–2004 2004–2005 2005–2006 2006–2007 2007–2008 2008–2009 2009–2010 2010–2011 2011–2012 2012–2013 2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016 2016–2017 2017-2018
26 PSE 100 index growth rate
27.2% Increase 55.2% Decrease 41.1% Decrease 34.1% Increase 37.9% Decrease -10.8% Decrease -41.7% Increase 35.7% Decrease 28.5% Decrease 10.4% Increase 52.2% Decrease 41.2% Decrease 16.0% Decrease 9.9% Increase 27.5 Decrease-7.1%

Foreign trade

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

Index List FY 2004 FY 2005 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 Jul-Feb
27 USD to PKR exchange rates
57.5745 Negative increase 59.3576 Negative increase 59.8566 Negative increase 60.6342 Negative increase 62.5465 Negative increase 78.4983 Negative increase 83.8017 Negative increase 85.5017 Negative increase 89.2359 Negative increase 96.7272 Negative increase 102.8591 Positive decrease 101.2947 Negative increase 104.2351 Negative increase 104.6971 Negative increase 109.8444 Negative increase 131.4663
28 Exports of Pakistan (billion US dollars)
12.396 Increase 14.401 Increase 16.553 Increase 17.278 Increase 20.427 Decrease 19.121 Increase 19.673 Increase 25.354 Decrease 24.718 Increase 24.802 Increase 25.078 Decrease 24.089 Decrease 21.972 Increase 22.003 Increase 24.824 15.975
29(a) Exports growth rate
13.8% Increase 16.2% Decrease 13.8% Decrease 4.5% Increase 18.0% Decrease -6.4% Increase 2.9% Increase 28.9% Decrease -2.6% Increase 0.3% Increase 1.1% Decrease -3.9% Decrease -8.8% Increase 0.1% Increase 12.8%
30 Imports of Pakistan (billion US dollars)
13.604 Increase 18.753 Increase 24.994 Increase 26.989 Increase 35.397 Decrease 31.747 Decrease 31.132 Increase 35.796 Increase 40.371 Decrease 40.157 Increase 41.668 Decrease 41.357 Decrease 41.255 Increase 48.683 Increase 56.002 35.257
31(a) Imports growth rate
20.0% Increase 37.8% Decrease 31.6% Decrease 8.0% Increase 31.2% Decrease -10.3% Increase -1.7% Increase 15.0% Increase 12.8% Decrease -0.5% Increase 3.8% Decrease -0.7% Increase -0.2% Increase 18.0% Increase 15.0%
32 Trade deficit (billion US dollars)
1.208 Negative increase 4.352 Negative increase 8.441 Negative increase 9.711 Negative increase 14.970 Positive decrease 12.627 Positive decrease 11.452 Positive decrease 10.427 Negative increase 15.652 Positive decrease 15.355 Negative increase 16.590 Negative increase 17.267 Negative increase 19.283 Negative increase 26.680 Negative increase 31.178 19.282
33 Trade deficit as % of GDP
1.2% Negative increase 4.0% Negative increase 6.5% Positive decrease 6.2% Negative increase 8.8% Positive decrease 7.5% Positive decrease 6.5% Positive decrease 4.9% Negative increase 7.0% Positive decrease 6.6% Negative increase 6.8% Positive decrease 6.3% Negative increase 6.6% Negative increase 8.7% Negative increase 11.0%

Workers' remittances

Index List FY 2004 FY 2005 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 Jul-Mar
34 Workers' remittances (billion US dollars )
4.6 Increase 5.4 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 19.3 Increase 19.6 16.1
35 Workers' remittances growth rate
-8.6% Decrease 7.7% Increase 10.4% Increase 19.4% Decrease 17.4% Increase 21.1% Decrease 14.0% Increase 25.8% Decrease 17.7% Decrease 5.6% Increase 13.7% Increase 18.2% Decrease 6.4% -3.0% -3.0% Increase 1.4%
A view of I. I. Chundrigar Road of Karachi (Financial Capital of Pakistan)
Main Industries by Region - Pakistan
Main Industries by Region – Pakistan. Source:[102]

In 2016, the Atlantic Media Company (AMC) of the United States has ranked Pakistan as a relatively stronger economy in the South Asian markets and expected that it will grow rapidly during days ahead. AMC said that during the period January–July this year, Indian 100 point index was 6.67% while Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) had achieved 100 point index of 17 percent.[103]

Stock market

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".[104] The stock market capitalisation of listed companies in Pakistan was valued at $5,937 million in 2005 by the World Bank.[105] But in 2008, after the General Elections, uncertain political environment, rising militancy along western borders of the country, and mounting inflation and current account deficits resulted in the steep decline of the Karachi Stock Exchange. As a result, the corporate sector of Pakistan has declined dramatically in recent times. However, the market bounced back strongly in 2009 and the trend continues in 2011. By 2014 the stock market burst into uncharted territories as the benchmark KSE 100 Index rose 907 points (3.1%) and shot past the 30,000-point barrier to close at a new record high, this came days after Moody's announced that it was upgrading the outlook of 5 major Pakistani banks from Negative to Stable, resulting in heavy buying in the banking sector. The rally was supported by heavy buying in the oil and gas and cement sectors.[106] 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.[107] 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.[108] Euphoria over the stock exchange's reclassification as an emerging market propelled the PSE-100 Index past another milestone when the Index recorded an increase of 636.96 points, or 1.23%, to end at 52,387.87.[109] In the fiscal year 2018, the stock market showed a negative growth of 7.1% over the last fiscal year and stood at 47000 points at average.[27]

Middle class

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.[110] Official figures also show that the proportion of households that own a motorcycle and washing machines has grown impressively over the past 15 years.[111] 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 posted an increase of Rs37.6 billion during first half of the current fiscal year of 2017. Auto finance continued to be the dominated segment, while personal loans showed a pickup as well. "The net credit off-take of Rs13.7 billion of personal loans witnessed in first half of the fiscal year 2017 is the highest half-year figure in about a decade," the report stated.[110]

Poverty alleviation expenditures

Socio-Economic Status of Pakistanis
Socio-Economic Status of Pakistanis, source:[112]

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.[113] 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.[114] Significant progress in taxation and business reforms has ensured that many firms now are not compelled to operate in the underground economy.[115]

"In 2016 government took a remarkable initiative by announcing the Prime Minister's Youth Program to combat unemployment in the country. This program has a broad canvas of schemes enabling youth and poor segment of society to get better employment opportunities, economic empowerment, acquiring skills needed for gainful employment, access to IT and imparting on-the-job training for young graduates to improve the probability of getting a productive job. Prime Minister’s Youth Program includes six schemes which are Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme, Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan Scheme, Prime Minister’s Youth Skill Development Program, Prime Minister’s Program for Provision of Laptops to Talented Students, Prime Minister’s Fee Reimbursement Scheme,Prime Minister’s Youth Training Scheme".[116] Government sector is also contributing in employment and according to estimate 4.5 million people are employed by federal, provincial and local governments in different sectors from Armed forces to education and health.[117]


Faisal mosque2
Faisal Mosque in the capital Islamabad.

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. 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.[118] As of 2016 tourism has begun to recover in Pakistan, albeit gradually.[119]


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 almost 86% of the entire national tax collection. The Federal Board of Revenue collected 3.842 trillion rupees in taxes against the revised target of 3.935 trillion rupees in the fiscal year 2017–2018. In FY 2013, FBR tax collection was Rs.1,946 billion. So in only 5 years it almost double its tax revenue which is a phenomenal achievement.[120]

Currency system


The basic unit of currency is the Rupee, ISO code PKR and abbreviated Rs, which is divided into 100 paisas. Currently the newly printed 5,000 rupee note is the largest denomination in circulation. Recently the SBP has introduced all new design notes of Rs. 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000.

USD-PKR Exchange
Dollar-Rupee exchange rate

The Pakistani Rupee was pegged to the Pound sterling until 1982, when the government of General Zia-ul-Haq, changed it to managed float. 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

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.[121] 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. Country's Forex reserves were at an historic low covering only two weeks' worth of imports. Today in November 2017 Pakistan's Foreign exchange reserves are at a comfortable level (20 billion dollars), sufficient to cover about 3 months of imports.

Structure of economy

Agriculture accounted for about 53% of 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).

Major sectors


Agriculture by Province
Agriculture by Province
Mango Orchard in Multan, Pakistan

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.[122] In the current year of 2018/19 Pakistan has exported 1.7 million tonnes of wheat and 4.0 million tonnes of rice so far.[123] Pakistan has also cut the use of dangerous pesticides dramatically.[124]

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. The country is Asia's largest camel market, second-largest apricot and ghee market and third-largest cotton, onion and milk market. 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.

Majority of the population, directly or indirectly, dependent on this sector. It contributes about 18.9% percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accounts for 42.3% of employed labor force and is the largest source of foreign exchange earnings.[71] During 2017-18, agriculture sector recorded a remarkable growth of 3.70 percent and surpassed its targeted growth of 3.5 percent and last year's growth of 2.18 percent. All the major crops showed a positive trend in their production except maize.[125] Sugarcane and rice production surpassed their historic level with 82.1 and 7.4 million tons respectively. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics provisionally valued this sector at Rs. 7,764,218 million for the year 2018 thus registering the growth of 6.1% over the last year.[64] Pakistan's Top commodities productions in 2017 and provisionally in 2018 are :[126]

Commodity Value 2016-2017 2017-2018(P)
Wheat Tonnes 26,674,000 Decrease 25,492,000
Cotton Bales 10,671,000 Increase 11,935,000
Rice Tonnes 6,849,000 Increase 7,442,000
Sugarcane Tonnes 75,482,000 Increase 82,102,000
Maize Tonnes 6,134,000 Decrease 5,702,000

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. Agriculture accounts for about 18.9% of GDP and employs about 42.3% of the labour force. Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited is the largest financial institution geared towards the development of agriculture sector through provision of financial services and technical expertise.


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 2.8%. Pakistan mining and quarrying sector grew by 3.04% in 2018 against the negative growth of -0.38% last year.

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 tones 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 4 fiscal years is given in the table below :-[127]

Minerals Unit of quantity 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018
Metric Ton
3,406,851 Increase3,749,312 Increase3,953,992 Increase4,469,938
Natural Gas
1,465,759 Increase1,481,550 Decrease1,471,854 Decrease1,458,933
Crude Oil
34,490,000 Decrease31,652,000 Increase32,269,000 Increase32,558,000
Metric Ton
100,516 Decrease69,333 Increase105,238 Decrease97,420
Metric Ton
4,611 Increase35,228 Decrease19,656 Increase23,596
Metric Ton
223,117 Increase666,755 Decrease301,124 Increase488,825
Metric Ton
1,417,007 Increase1,871,716 Increase2,079,629 Increase2,489,451
Lime stone
Metric Ton
39,819,401 Increase48,296,551 Increase52,144,064 Increase70,792,933
Rock Salt
Metric Ton
2,136,361 Increase3,552,984 Decrease3,534,075 Increase3,590,511
Metric Ton
19,730 Decrease14,869 Increase23,740 Decrease22,040
Metric Ton
118,568 Increase157,858 Decrease91,711 Decrease88,847
Soap Stone
Metric Ton
100,724 Increase125,985 Decrease152,279 Decrease141,504
Metric Ton
2,520,170 Increase4,747113 Increase4,904,141 Increase8,812,892
Metric Ton
24,689 Increase57,024 Increase75,375 Increase146,045
Metric Ton
38,117 Increase90,588 Increase98,909 Increase126,324


Manufacturing by Province
Manufacturing by Province

Pakistan's industrial sector accounts for about 20.9% of GDP. In 2018 it recorded a growth of 5.80% as compared to the growth of 5.43% last year. Manufacturing is the most vibrant sub sector of the industrial sector having 64.8% contribution in the industrial sector and in GDP it accounts for 13.6%. 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.[128] Major sectors in industries include cement, fertiliser, edible oil, sugar, steel, tobacco, chemicals, machinery, food processing and medical instruments, primarily surgical.[129][130][131] Pakistan is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of surgical instruments.[132][133]

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.[134] 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.[114]

Pakistan's largest corporation are mostly involved in utilities like oil, gas and telecommunication:

Rank[135] Name Headquarters Revenue
(Mil. $)
01. Pakistan State Oil Karachi 13,094[136]
02. Pak-Arab Refinery Qasba Gujrat 3,000
03. Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited Lahore 2,520
04. Shell Pakistan Karachi 2,380
05. Oil and Gas Development Company Islamabad 2,230
06. National Refinery Karachi 1,970
07. Hub Power Company Hub, Balochistan 1,970
08. K-Electric Karachi 1,951[137]
09. Attock Refinery Rawalpindi 1,740
010. Attock Petroleum Rawalpindi 1,740
011. Pakistan Telecommunication Company Islamabad 1,326
012. Engro Corporation Karachi 1,012[138]
013. Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited Rawalpindi 754

Construction material

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, In 2013 Pakistan exported 7,708,557 metric tons of cement.[139] Pakistan has installed capacity of 44,768,250 metric tons of cement and 42,636,428 metric tons of clinker. In the 2012–2013 cement industry in Pakistan became the most profitable sector of economy.[140]

Information communication technology industry

The information communication technology (ICT) industry grossed over $4.8 billion in 2013. It is expected to exceed the $13 billion mark by 2018.[141] A marked increase in software export figures are an indication of this booming industry's potential. The total number of IT companies increased to 1306 and the total estimated size of IT industry is $2.8 billion. In 2007, Pakistan was for the first time featured in the Global Services Location Index by A.T. Kearney and was rated as the 30th best location for offshoring.[142] By 2009, Pakistan had improved its rank by ten places to reach 20th.[143] According to Pakistan Startup report, there are about 1 million freelancers working from Pakistan mainly via Elance, Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, and freelancer – world's famous online marketplaces that count Pakistan among top 5 freelancing nations. An annual report that updated by State bank of Pakistan shows Pakistan cross 1 Billion($) IT Export which is a good achievement of Pakistan IT Industry. Also, an official said that Pakistan Freelance community generate 1 billion($) revenue this year. Overall Pakistan makes 2 Billion($) IT export worldwide.[144]

Defence industry

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, advance trainer aircraft, combat aircraft, navy ships and submarines. Pakistan is manufacturing and selling weapons to over 40 countries, bringing in $20 million annually.The country's arms imports increased by 119 percent between the 2004–2008 and 2009–13, with China providing 54pc and the USA 27pc of Pakistan's imports.


Most of the Textile Industry is established in Punjab. Before 1990, the situation was different; most of the industry was in Karachi. Textile industry in Pakistan is traditional and conservative, producing and exporting most of low cost raw articles e.g. Raw Cotton, Yarn, fabric etc. Share of finished goods and branded articles is nominal. Pakistan has a potential to quadruple its textile production and export, due to emerging Chinese markets and with its existing infrastructure. 10% of United States imports regarding clothing and other form of textiles is covered by Pakistan.


As of 2010, Pakistan is one of the largest users of CNG (compressed natural gas) in the world. Presently, more than 3,000 CNG stations are operating in the country in 99 cities and towns, and 1000 more would be set up in the next two years. It has provided employment to over 50,000 people in Pakistan, but the CNG industry is struggling to survive the 2013 energy crisis.[145][146]


PRC Towers, Karachi.

Pakistan's service sector accounts for about 60.2% of GDP.[147] 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.


PTCL phone shop
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.[148] In addition, there are over 6 million landlines in the country with 100% fibre-optic network and coverage via WLL in even the remotest areas.[149] As a result, Pakistan won the prestigious Government Leadership award of GSM Association in 2006.[150]

The World Bank estimates that it takes about 3 days to get a phone connection in Pakistan.[151]

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

  1. Jazz Pakistan (Parent: VEON, Netherland)
  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.[152]

Since liberalisation, over the past four years, the Pakistani telecom sector has attracted more than $9 billion in foreign investments.[153] 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.

Present growth of state-of-the-art infrastructures in the telecoms sector during the last four years has been the result of the PTA's vision and implementation of the deregulation policy. Paging and mobile (cellular) telephones were adopted early and freely. Cellular phones and the Internet were adopted through a rather laissez-faire policy with a proliferation of private service providers that led to the fast adoption. With a rapid increase in the number of Internet users and ISPs, and a large English-speaking population, Pakistani society has seen an unparalleled revolution in communications.

According to the PC World,[154] 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. 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.[148]

Pakistan is ranked 4th in terms of broadband Internet growth in the world, as the subscriber base of broadband Internet has been increasing rapidly. The rankings are released by Point Topic Global broadband analysis, a global research centre.[155]

  • Pakistan has more than 20 million Internet users in 2009.[156] The country is said to have a potential to absorb up to 50 million mobile phone Internet users in the next 5 years thus a potential of nearly 1 million connections per month.
  • Almost all of the main government departments, organisations and institutions have their own websites.
  • The use of search engines and instant messaging services is also booming. Pakistanis are some of the most ardent chatters on the Internet, communicating with users all over the world. Recent years have seen a huge increase in the use of online marriage services, for example, leading to a major re-alignment of the tradition of arranged marriages.
  • Biometric reverification of SIMs in 2015 had an adverse impact on the cellular subscriber base when subscribers count dropped from 139.9 million to 114.6 million. However, the industry has survived through the tough period and continues to regain subscribers at a fast pace.

According to the report released by PTA for the FY 2017-18 :-[157]

  • Total teledensity of Pakistan reached at 74.4%.
  • Telecom revenues were reached to Rs. 488.8 billion.
  • Total contribution of telecom sector to the national exchequre was RS. 147.2 billion.
  • Investment came to the telecom sector was US$ 670.3 million.

as of June 2018 there were four cell phone companies including PMCL(Jazz), Telenor, Ufone and Zong operating in the country with nearly 150.2 million mobile phone subscribers.[158]

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority released the figures in June 2018 that Broadband subscribers in the country reached to approximately 56.1 millions thus gaining the growth of over 18 fold since 2006.[158]


Pakistan International Airlines, the flagship airline of Pakistan's civil aviation industry, has turnover exceeding $25 billion in 2015.[159] The government announced a new shipping policy in 2006 permitting banks and financial institutions to mortgage ships.[160] 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. The other private carrier is Shaheen Air International whose network covers the main cities of Pakistan and the Persian Gulf.

A massive rehabilitation plan worth $1 billion over five years for Pakistan Railways has been announced by the government in 2005.[161] A new rail link trial has been established from Islamabad to Istanbul, via the Iranian cities of Zahedan, Kerman and Tehran. It is expected to promote trade, tourism, especially for exports destined for Europe (as Turkey is part of Europe and Asia).[162][163]


Pakistan has a large and diverse banking system. In 1974, a nationalization program led to the creation of six government-owned banks.[164] A privatization program in the 1990s lead to the entry of foreign-owned and local banks into the industry.[164] 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.[164]

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 on 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.[165]

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.[166]


Houses in Bahria Town, the largest private housing society in Asia.

The property sector has expanded twenty-threefold since 2001, particularly in metropolises like Lahore.[167] 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.[168]

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics provisionally valued this sector at Rs.459,829 million in 2012 thus registering over 149% growth since 2006.[165]

Minor sectors

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics provisionally valued this sector at Rs.389,545 million in 2005 thus registering over 65% growth since 2000.[169] The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics provisionally valued this sector at Rs.631,229 million in 2005 thus registering over 78% growth since 2000.[169] The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics provisionally valued this sector at Rs.1,358,309 million in 2005 thus registering over 96% growth since 2000. The wholesale and retail trade is the largest sub-sector of the services. Its share in the overall services sector is estimated at 31.5 percent. The wholesale and retail trade sector is based on the margins taken by traders on the transaction of commodities traded. In 2012–13, this sector grew at 2.5 percent as compared to 1.7 percent in the previous year.


For years, the matter of balancing Pakistan's supply against the demand for electricity has remained a largely unresolved matter. Pakistan faces a significant challenge in revamping its network responsible for the supply of electricity. While the government claims credit for overseeing a turnaround in the economy through a comprehensive recovery, it has just failed to oversee a similar improvement in the quality of the network for electricity supply. Most cities in Pakistan receive substantial sunlight throughout the year, which would suggest good conditions for investment in solar energy. If the rich people in Pakistan are shifted to solar energy that they should be forced to purchase solar panels, the shortfall can be controlled. this will make the economy boost again as before 2007. According to an econometric analysis published in Quality & Quantity by Mete Feridun of University of Greenwich and his colleague Muhammad Shahbaz, economic growth in Pakistan leads to electricity consumption but not vice versa.[170]


Chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Foreign trade, remittances, aid, and investment


Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Pakistan soared by 180.6 percent year-on-year to US$2.22 billion and portfolio investment by 276 percent to $407.4 million during the first nine months of fiscal year 2006, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on 24 April. During July–March 2005–06, FDI year-on-year increased to $2.224 billion from only $792.6 million and portfolio investment to $407.4 million, whereas it was $108.1 million in the corresponding period last year, according to the latest statistics released by the State Bank.[172] Pakistan has achieved FDI of almost $8.4 billion in the financial year 06/07, surpassing the government target of $4 billion.[173] 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.[174]

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 when it ranked Pakistan (at 85th) well ahead of neighbours like China (at 89th) and India (at 133rd).[175]

Pakistan is attracting private equity and was the ranked as number 20 in the world based on the amount of private equity entering the nation. Pakistan has been able to attract a portion of the global private equity investments because of economic reforms initiated in 2003 that have provided foreign investors with greater assurances for the stability of the nation and their ability to repatriate invested funds in the future.[176]

Tariffs have been reduced to an average rate of 16%, with a maximum of 25% (except for the car industry). The privatization process, which started in the early 1990s, has gained momentum, with most of the banking system privately owned, and the oil sector targeted to be the next big privatization operation.

The recent improvements in the economy and the business environment have been recognised by international rating agencies such as Moody's and Standard and Poor's (country risk upgrade at the end of 2003). 47.1% increase in Net FDI in 2014–2015 (July–October) as compared to 2013–14 (July–October).[177]

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.[181]

Foreign trade

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.[182] 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.[183]

Pakistan's imports are showing rising trend at a relatively faster rate (18.0 percent) 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.

The sharp increase in imports may not be a cause for major worry, the imports during the current fiscal year included around $12 billion of capital goods (machinery, metals etc.), which would eventually increase the country's industrial capacity and help exports flourish. The increase in import of machinery will have multiplier effect on the economy as the manufacturing has the highest backward linkage among the major sectors. As the demand for manufacturing grows, it in turn will help in the creation of jobs, investments, and innovations. Pakistan major exports commodities for the last four fiscal years are listed in the table below:-[184]

Commodities FY 2015 (million US $) FY 2016 (million US $) FY 2017 (million US $) FY 2018 (million US $)
Cotton Cloth 2486.783 Decrease 2,331.587 Decrease 2,123.042 Increase 2,168.461
Knitwear 2264.114 Increase 2,309.248 Increase 2,334.599 Increase 2,612.672
Ready-made Garments 2044.018 Increase 2,156.033 Increase 2,279.450 Increase 2,472.052
Bed wear 2207.477 Decrease 2,126.360 Increase 2,156.753 Increase 2,343.665
Rice 2037.841 Decrease 1,852.708 Decrease 1,574.950 Increase 1,938.548
Cotton Yarn 1818.196 Decrease 1,266.127 Decrease 1,140.214 Increase 1,240.206
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Products 1249.959 Decrease 1,052.316 Increase 1,113.300 Increase 1,381.636
Exports & Imports of Pakistan From 2012-2017
Exports & Imports of Pakistan From 2012-2017

Pakistan major imports commodities for the last four fiscal years are listed in the table below:-[185]

Commodities FY 2015 (million US $) FY 2016 (million US $) FY 2017 (million US $) FY 2018 (million US $)
Petroleum products 7,773.620 Positive decrease 5,098.139 Negative increase 6,379.880 Negative increase 6,768.246
Petroleum crude 4,393.223 Positive decrease 2,569.696 Negative increase 2,764.648 Negative increase 4,310.250
Iron and Steel 1,813.412 Negative increase 2,094.016 Positive decrease 1980.112 Negative increase 2,546.316
Plastic material 1,771.758 Negative increase 1,791.303 Negative increase 1,875.104 Negative increase 2,310.158
Electrical Machinery & Apparatus 935.290 Negative increase 1,650.692 Positive decrease 1,317.167 Negative increase 1,800.541
Palm oil 1,681.170 Positive decrease 1,600.041 Negative increase 1,775.118 Negative increase 1,907.138
Power Generating Machinery 897.940 Negative increase 1,356.328 Positive decrease 1,336.598 Negative increase 1,495.723
Road vehicles 1,024.972 Negative increase 1,263.807 Negative increase 1,774.141 Negative increase 2,182.263
Telecom 1,225.078 Positive decrease 1,201.062 Positive decrease 1,023.021 Negative increase 1,396.576
Liquefied natural gas 135.232 Negative increase 578.924 Negative increase 1,270.680 Negative increase 2,035.506

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.[183]

Current account – The Current account deficit increased to US$12.4 billion in FY 2017, against US$3.2 billion in FY 2016.[186]

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.[183]

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.

The Asian Development Bank will provide close to $6 billion development assistance to Pakistan during 2006–9.[187] 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.[188] Japan will provide $500 million annual economic aid to Pakistan.[189] 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.[190] 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.[191]

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.[192] 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.

Remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis in the fiscal year 2016/17 are as under:[182]

Country [Million USD]
 USA 2,443.54
 UK 2,338.34
 Saudi Arabia 5,469.77
 UAE 4,309.88
 Gulf Cooperation Council 2,324.06
 European Union 482.59
 Norway 41.31
  Switzerland 26.34
 Australia 204.31
 Canada 187.22
 Japan 14.31
Other countries 1,461.91

Government finances

Fiscal budget summary (FY2017/18)[193]

  • Fiscal year: 1 July – 30 June
  • Budget outlay: Rs 5,013.8 billion rupees
  • Revenues collection estimated: 4,713.7 billion rupees
  • Expenditures estimated: 5,103.8 billion rupees
  • Bank borrowing estimated: 390.1 billion rupees

Revenues and taxation

Pakistan has a low tax/GDP ratio, which it is trying to improve. The current tax-to-GDP ratio is 12.6% (2016),[194] which is a little less than its neighbour India 16.6% (2016) [195] while a slight more than Sri Lanka 12.3% (2015).[196] The pace of revenue mobilization has witnessed an upward trajectory since FY 2013. Overall revenues increased to 15.3 percent of GDP in FY 2016, compared to 13.3 percent of GDP recorded in FY 2013. Among those, tax revenues increased from 9.8 percent of GDP in FY 2013 to 12.6 percent of GDP in FY 2016.


Government expenditures were 4,383.6 billion rupees (FY 2016–2017 July to March). Total expenditures witnessed a downward trajectory without compromising the expenditures on development projects and social assistance. Particularly, expenditures under Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) have been raised adequately in order to meet the investment requirements. During FY 2017 the size of federal PSDP has increased to Rs 800 billion from Rs 348.3 billion during FY 2013, showing a cumulative increase of over 129 percent. During first nine months of current fiscal year, the fiscal deficit stood at 3.9 percent of GDP against 3.5 percent of GDP recorded in the same period of FY 2016 on account of higher development expenditures along with various tax incentives to promote investment and economic activity in the country and security related expenditures. On the basis of previous estimates of GDP at Rs 33,509 billion, the fiscal deficit was recorded at 3.7 percent during first nine months of current fiscal year against 3.4 percent registered in the comparable period of FY 2016. Total revenues grew at 6.2 percent to Rs 3,145.5 billion during July–March, FY 2017 against Rs 2,961.9 in the comparable period of FY 2016.[194]

Sovereign bonds

Pakistan is expected to sell a dual-tranche sovereign bond worth $750 million on 23 March 2006 that analysts said should ensure a favourable reception in the bond market. The 10-year tranche would be $500 million and the 30-year portion $250 million. Pricing is expected during New York trading hours on 23 March 2006. The sources said that the 10-year tranche was expected to be priced at around 100125%, while the longer-dated tranche was expected to be sold at around 70.875%, the top end of the indicative yield range of 3.75 to 10.875%.

The bonds, consisting of 10-year and 30-year tranches, had generated $1.5 billion in orders and a total size of as much as $1.25 billion had been anticipated for what is Pakistan's third foray into the international debt market since 2004.[197]

The Government of Pakistan has been raising money from the international debt market from time to time.

The details of amount raised in various issues are as follows:

1999 – $6230 million

2004 – $5000 million @ 6.75%[198]

2005 – $6000 million worth Islamic bonds[197][199]

2007 – $7500 million @ 6.875% worth Euro Bonds which were highly over subscribed[200]

Income distribution

  • Gini Index: 41
  • Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    • lowest 10%: 4.1%
    • highest 10%: 27.7% (1996)
    • middle 10%: 10.4%

See also

By province and administrative unit:



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  • Khan Ashan (2014). Economics of Pakistan, 9th edition. Pakistan.

Further reading

  • Gabol, Nasir (1990). Privatisation in Pakistan,. Paris, France: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. ISBN 92-64-15310-1.
  • Ahmad, Viqar and Rashid Amjad. 1986. The Management of Pakistan's Economy, 1947–82. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
  • Ali, Imran. 1997. ‘Telecommunications Development in Pakistan’, in E.M. Noam (ed.), Telecommunications in Western Asia and the Middle East. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Ali, Imran. 2001a. ‘The Historical Lineages of Poverty and Exclusion in Pakistan’. Paper presented at Conference on Realm, Society and Nation in South Asia. National University of Singapore.
  • Ali, Imran. 2001b. ‘Business and Power in Pakistan’, in A.M. Weiss and S.Z. Gilani (eds), Power and Civil Society in Pakistan. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
  • Ali, Imran. 2002. ‘Past and Present: The Making of the State in Pakistan’, in Imran Ali, S. Mumtaz and J.L. Racine (eds), Pakistan: The Contours of State and Society. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
  • Ali, Imran, A. Hussain. 2002. Pakistan National Human Development Report. Islamabad: UNDP.
  • Ali, Imran, S. Mumtaz and J.L. Racine (eds). 2002. Pakistan: The Contours of State and Society. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
  • Amjad, Rashid. 1982. Private Industrial Investment in Pakistan, 1960–70. London: Cambridge University Press.
  • Andrus, J.R. and A.F. Mohammed. 1958. The Economy of Pakistan. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Bahl, R., & Cyan, M. (2009). Local Government Taxation in Pakistan (No. paper0909). International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Barrier, N.G. 1966. The Punjab Alienation of Land Bill of 1900. Durham, NC: Duke University South Asia Series.
  • Jahan, Rounaq. 1972. Pakistan: Failure in National Integration. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Kessinger, T.G. 1974. Vilyatpur, 1848–1968. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  • Kochanek, S.A. 1983. Interest Groups and Development: Business and Politics in Pakistan. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • LaPorte, Jr, Robert and M.B. Ahmad. 1989. Public Enterprises in Pakistan. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
  • Latif, S.M. 1892. Lahore. Lahore: New Imperial Press, reprinted 1981, Lahore: Sandhu Printers.
  • Low, D.A. (ed.). 1991. The Political Inheritance of Pakistan. London: Macmillan.
  • Noman, Omar. 1988. The Political Economy of Pakistan. London: KPI.
  • Papanek, G.F. 1967. Pakistan's Development: Social Goals and Private Incentives. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
  • Raychaudhuri, Tapan and Irfan Habib (eds). 1982. The Cambridge Economic History of India, 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • White, L.J. 1974. Industrial Concentration and Economic Power. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
  • Ziring, Lawrence. 1980. Pakistan: The Enigma of Political Development. Boulder, Colorado: Folkestone.
  • Ali, Imran. 1987. ‘Malign Growth? Agricultural Colonisation and the Roots of Backwardness in the Punjab’, Past and Present, 114
  • Ali, Imran. August 2002. ‘The Historical Lineages of Poverty and Exclusion in Pakistan’, South Asia, XXV(2).
  • Ali, Imran and S. Mumtaz. 2002. ‘Understanding Pakistan—The Impact of Global, Regional, National and Local Interactions’, in Imran Ali, S. Mumtaz and J.L. Racine (eds), Pakistan: the Contours of State and Society. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
  • Hasan, Parvez. 1998. Pakistan's Economy at the Crossroads: Past Policies and Present Imperatives. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
  • Hussain, Ishrat. 1999. Pakistan: The Economy of an Elitist State. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
  • Khan, Shahrukh Rafi. 1999. Fifty Years of Pakistan's Economy: Traditional Topics and Contemporary Concerns. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
  • Kibria, Ghulam. 1999. Shattered Dream: Understanding Pakistan's Development. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
  • Kukreja, Veena. 2003. Contemporary Pakistan: Political Processes, Conflicts and Crises. New Delhi: Sage Publications.
  • Zaidi, S. Akbar. 1999. Issues in Pakistan's Economy. Karachi: Oxford University Press
  • Faheem, Khan. 2010. Issues in Pakistan's Economy. Peshawar:

External links

Corporate sector of Pakistan

The Corporate sector of Pakistan (otherwise attributed as the Corporatization; or/ simply referred to as the Pakistan Inc.) is an elite business sector expanded in financial cities of Pakistan, and a policy measure programme in the economic period of Pakistan. This programme is also regarded as "Pakistan Inc.", which is a drive common term used by the mass-media of Pakistan to refer to the corporate sector of the nation. This policy measure programme was first conceived, envisioned and implemented then-Finance Minister Ghulam Ishaq Khan and President General Zia-ul-Haq in order to lay the foundation of Western styled corporate sector. President Zia-ul-Haq issued the decree, the Companies Ordinance No. 1984, in 1984 that legally allows a variety of formations in the mixed economy of Pakistan.

The programme was started on 8 October 1984 in a vision to promote Western-styled corporate sector, and business activities development in Pakistan. The corporate sector came in direct response to nationalization programme of executed Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and the Pakistan Peoples Party to promote . This programme was integrated in Privatization programme of Prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1990 who gave free hand to private sector to expand the economical activities in the country. The corporate sector remained to expand in Prime minister Benazir Bhutto's government who promoted the nationalization and privatization at once. In 2004, in a programme initiated by Prime minister Shaukat Aziz, the corporate sector further enhanced and matured; it had built a strong and sizeable sector in the financial hubs of the country.

Under Aziz, many of state-owned megacorporations along with private sector had been registered in stock exchanges of the country in order to promote business competition in the country.

Economy of Azad Kashmir

The economy of Azad Kashmir, part of Kashmir administered by Pakistan, is largely a developing one. The per capita income and provincial GDP estimates of Administered Kashmir are comparatively underrated when compared with development in other regions of the country although Azad Kashmir notably has a literacy rate that is substantially above the national average which is not really surprising considering Pakistan. Azad Kashmir's economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, but also relies on remittances sent each year by members of the large Kashmiri diaspora. The Kashmiris in the United Kingdom have contributed greatly to the development of Azad Kashmir through their in-flow of remittances. In the southern districts, many men have been recruited into the Pakistani Armed Forces. Other locals travel to countries in Europe or the Middle East where they work in labour-oriented jobs. The local tourism industry has potential although is underdeveloped.Challenges faced by Azad Kashmir's economy include the devastating 2005 Kashmir earthquake, the effects of which the region is still recovering from, as well as being a favourable spot for Terrorist organizations that not only threaten and force people to join the organization in the region but also in the Indian part of Kashmir. As of Sept 2013, Azad Kashmir's GDP was estimated at a measly $3.2 Billion.

Economy of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The economy of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a province of Pakistan, is the 3rd largest in the country. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's share of Pakistan's total GDP has historically comprised 10.5%, although the province accounts for 11.9% of Pakistan's total population, rendering it the second-poorest province after neighboring Balochistan. The part of the economy that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa dominates is forestry, where its share has historically ranged from a low of 34.9% to a high of 81%, giving an average of 61.56%. Currently, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa accounts for 10% of Pakistan's GDP, 20% of Pakistan's mining output and since 1972, it has seen its economy grow in size by 3.6 times.After suffering for decades due to the fallout of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, today they are again are being targeted for totally a different situation of terrorism.

Agriculture remains important and the main cash crops include wheat, maize, Tobacco (in Swabi), rice, sugar beets, as well as various fruits are grown in the province.

Some manufacturing and high tech investments in Peshawar has helped improve job prospects for many locals, while trade in the province involves nearly every product. The bazaars in the province are renowned throughout Pakistan. Unemployment has been reduced due to establishment of industrial zones.

Numerous workshops throughout the province support the manufacture of small arms and weapons of various types. The province accounts for at least 78% of the marble production in Pakistan.

Economy of Sindh

The economy of Sindh is the 2nd largest of all the provinces in Pakistan. Much of Sindh's economy is influenced by the economy of Karachi, the capital of the province and also the largest city and economic capital of the country. Sindh remark ably has a high GDP per capita was $1,400 in 2010 which is three times that of the rest of the nation or 1.33 times the national average. Historically, Sindh's contribution to Pakistan's GDP has been between 30% to 32.7%. Its share in the service sector has ranged from 21% to 27.8% and in the agriculture sector from 21.4% to 27.7%. Performance wise, its best sector is the manufacturing sector, where its share has ranged from 36.7% to 46.5%. Since 1972, Sindh's GDP has expanded by 3.6 times.Endowed with coastal access, Sindh is a major centre of economic activity in Pakistan and has a highly diversified economy ranging from heavy industry and finance centred in and around Karachi to a substantial agricultural base along the Indus. Manufacturing includes machine products, cement, plastics, and various other goods.

Sindh is Pakistan's most natural gas producing province.

Agriculture is very important in Sindh with cotton, rice, wheat, sugar cane, bananas, and mangoes as the most important crops. Sindh is the richest province in natural resources of gas, petrol, and coal.

Economy of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas

The economy of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas is relatively underdeveloped compared to other provinces and administrative territories of Pakistan. The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are the most impoverished and least developed areas in the country. While FATA has 2.4% of Pakistan's population, it contributes only 1.5% to Pakistan's economy, making it the smallest Pakistani provincial economy in terms of GDP. As of 2010, the per capita income of FATA was $663 and roughly 34% of households had a sustainable living standard above the poverty level.Because of FATA's tribal society, the local economy is mainly pastoral-based, with some practice of agriculture. Households are involved in primary-level activities like subsistence agriculture, rearing of livestock (see animal husbandry in Pakistan) and small-scale businesses. Many locals seek employment as skilled and unskilled labourers while others join security agencies and paramilitary forces. Those who are better off or are able to travel migrate to larger cities and urban centres outside the tribal areas within Pakistan and across the Middle East. A significant number of these are highly qualified professionals and in many cases have settled permanently along with their families outside FATA, contributing to a brain drain effect and shortage of skilled workers in FATA. Members of the diaspora receive their earnings and send remittances to FATA to support their families and relatives at home.There are abundant natural resources prevalent in FATA such as marble, copper, limestone and coal which can create a potentially thriving mining industry, although the current socio-economic situation has partly hindered their profitable exploitation. Trade with neighboring Afghanistan plays an active role in FATA's economy, and items imported and exported to the country via trucks pass through supply routes in FATA. The area has also been influenced to a great extent by the active Afghan opium trade. This has made FATA a transitional point for smuggling and trafficking of goods, as well as black markets. There is a sizeable indigenous weapons and firearms manufacturing industry present (see gun politics in Pakistan).

Foreign aid to the region often remains a difficult challenge, according to Craig Cohen, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.. Because security is difficult, local nongovernmental organizations are required to distribute aid, but there is a lack of trust amongst NGOs and other powers that hampers distribution. Pakistani NGOs are often targets of violent attacks by Islamist militants in the FATA. Because of the extensive hostility to any hint of foreign influence, the American branch of Save the Children was distributing funding anonymously in the region as of July 2007. There have been calls to implement greater measures for integrating FATA into the mainstream economy. In this regard, there are several economic, industrial and social development reconstruction ventures that have been undertaken by the government recently in order to aid FATA's economy, including the launch of organisations such as the FATA Development Authority.

Foreign aid to Pakistan

Pakistan receives foreign aid from several countries and international organizations. Since the start of the War in Afghanistan, the majority of the aid comes from the United States via the Coalition Support Fund which is reimbursement to Pakistan for counter-terrorism operations. Foreign aid from America has been stopped since 2018.

Foreign trade of Pakistan

This article covers topics relating to the foreign trade of Pakistan. For a more general overview, see economy of Pakistan.

Forestry in Pakistan

The forestry sector of Pakistan is a main source of lumber, paper, fuelwood, latex, medicine as well as food and provide ecotourism and wildlife conservation purposes. Less than 4% of land in Pakistan is covered with forests.

Indian numbering system

The Indian numbering system is used in the Indian subcontinent (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and in Burma. The terms lakh (100,000 or 1,00,000 in Indian notation) and crore (10,000,000 or 1,00,00,000) are used in Indian English to express large numbers. For example, in India 150,000 rupees is called 1.5 lakh rupees, written ₹1,50,000; while 30,000,000 (thirty million) rupees is called 3 crore rupees, written ₹3,00,00,000 with commas at the thousand, lakh, and crore levels; and 1,000,000,000 (one billion) rupees is called 100 crore rupees or one arab अरब, written ₹1,00,00,00,000. There are also words for numbers larger than 1 crore, but these are not commonly used and unfamiliar to most speakers. In common parlance, the thousand, lakh, crore terminology repeats for larger numbers: thus 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) becomes 1 lakh crore, written as 10,00,00,00,00,000.

The Indian number-word system corresponds to the western system for the first six powers of ten: one, ten, one hundred, one thousand, ten thousand. For higher powers, the names no longer correspond. In the Indian system, the next powers of ten are called one lakh, ten lakh, one crore, ten crore, one hundred crore, and so on: there are the single words lakh = 105 and crore = 107. In the Western system, the next powers of ten are called one hundred thousand, one million, ten million, one hundred million, one billion, and so on: there are the single words million = 106, billion = 109, trillion = 1012, etc.

The written numbers differ only in the placement of commas, which group the digits into powers of one hundred in the Indian system (except for the first thousand), and into powers of one thousand in the Western system. The Indian and English systems both use the decimal point and the comma digit-separator, while some other countries using the Western number-word system use the decimal comma, and the space or point to separate digits in powers of one thousand.

List of Pakistani provinces by gross domestic product

This is a list of provinces of Pakistan by their gross state product (GSP) (the value of the total economy, and goods and services produced in the respective province) in nominal terms. GSP is the provincial-level counterpart of the national gross domestic product (GDP), the most comprehensive measure of a country's economic activity.

List of Pakistanis by net worth

The following is a list of the richest and wealthiest Pakistani entrepreneurs sorted by order of their declared or estimated net worth. It is extremely difficult to verify the exact figures of the net worth of some of these individuals because in Pakistan the large business conglomerates are often and typically owned jointly by sons/brothers/close relatives who collectively hold on to the cash and assets, so the financial figures usually cannot be linked to the name of one single individual only.

List of districts of Pakistan by Human Development Index

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic used to rank some area by level of "human development" and separate developed (Very High development), developing (High and Medium development), and underdeveloped (Low development) areas. The statistics is composed from data on life expectancy, education and per-capita GNI (as an indicator of standard of living) collected at the national level.

This is a list of districts of Pakistan in order of their Human Development Index (HDI) as of 2015, the latest year for which data is available. The HDI values are provided by the United Nations Development Programme (Pakistan), titled: Pakistan National Human Development Report 2017 and it was released on the 2nd of May 2018.There are six districts which have a Very High level of Human Development. Lahore has the highest level of Human Development in the country with an HDI of 0.877, followed closely by Islamabad (HDI: 0.875) and Rawalpindi (HDI: 0.871). Karachi, Sialkot and Jhelum make up the remainder of the districts with a Very High level of Human Development.

Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab have a High level of Human Development, while Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have a Medium Level of Human Development. Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan have a Low level of Human Development. Finally the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have a Very Low level of Human Development.

This data is incompatible with data published in the Global Human Development Report due to variations in the calculations and formulas used by both parties. The Education Index has been calculated as in the Global Human Development Report with Mean years of schooling and Expected years of schooling being used as indicators. However, due to lack of data at the district level new methodology had to be devised to calculate the Health and Standard of Living indexes.

Marathi Muslims

The term Marathi Muslims is usually used to signify Marathi Muslims from the state of Maharashtra in North-western coast of India, who speak Marathi as a mother-tongue (first language) and follows certain customs different from the rest of Indian Muslims. Marathi Muslims are very prominent in industry and medium-sized businesses. Many members of this community migrated to Pakistan in 1947 and have settled in Karachi & other parts of Sindh, contributing greatly to the general welfare and economy of Pakistan.

According to 2001 Indian census, There were 10,270,485 Muslims in Maharashtra and constituted 10.60% of the state.

Marathi Muslims belong mostly to the Sufi tradition. Visiting the tombs of Sufi saints is very important to this community.

Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs

The Ministry of Finance, Revenue & Economic Affairs (Urdu: وزارت خزانہ، محصولات و اقتصادی امور‎) or Ministry of Finance (Urdu: وزارت خزانہ‎, Wazarat-e-khazana, abbreviated as MoF) is a ministry of the Government of Pakistan tasked to ensure a strong Pakistani economy by developing policies of sound economic management and providing expert advice to the government.


The paisa (Nepali/Hindi: पैसा, Urdu: پیسہ‎), poisha (Bengali: পয়সা) or baisa (Omani: بيسة) is a monetary unit in several countries. In India, Nepal, and Pakistan, the paisa currently equals ​1⁄100 of a rupee. In Bangladesh, the poisha equals ​1⁄100 of a Bangladeshi taka. In Oman, the baisa equals ​1⁄1000 of an Omani rial.

Pakistan Stock Exchange

The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) is the stock exchange of Pakistan with trading floors in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. PSX was reclassified as a MSCI Emerging Market in May 2017. While, the FTSE classifies PSX as a Secondary Emerging Market.PSX was established on 11 January 2016 after the merger of individual stock exchanges of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. PSX's origin's where laid with the establishment of the Karachi Stock Exchange in 1947, the Lahore Stock Exchange in 1970 and the Islamabad Stock Exchange in 1992. As of February 23, 2018, there are 559 companies listed in PSX and the total market capitalisation is $84 billion.The investors on the exchanges include 1,886 foreign institutional investors and 883 domestic institutional investors along with about 0.22 million retail investors. There are also about 400 brokerage houses which are members of the PSX as well as 21 asset management companies. PSX is among the world's best performing stock market's, between 2009 and 2015 it delivered a 26% a year. In December 2016, PSX sold 40% strategic shares to a Chinese consortium for $85 million.

Pakistani rupee

The Pakistani Rupee (Urdu: روپیہ‎ / ALA-LC: Rūpiyah; sign: ₨; code: PKR; is the official currency of Pakistan. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the State Bank of Pakistan, the central bank of the country. The most commonly used symbol for the rupee is Rs, used on receipts when purchasing goods and services.

In Pakistan, the rupee is also spelled as "rupees", "rupaya" or "rupaye". As standard in Pakistani English, large values of rupees are counted in terms of thousands; lakh (100,000); crore or karoṛ (10 million); arab (1 billion); kharab (100 billion).

Planning Commission (Pakistan)

The Planning Commission (denoted as PC) is a financial and public policy development institution of the Government of Pakistan. The Commission comes under Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms. The Planning Commission undertakes research studies and state policy development initiatives for the growth of national economy and the expansion of the public and state infrastructure of the country in tandem with the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

Since 1952, the commission have had a major influence and role in formulating the highly centralized and planned five-year plans for the national economy, for most of the 20th century in Pakistan. Although the five-year plans were replaced by Medium Term Development Framework, the commission still played an influential and central role in the development of the programme. Furthermore, the Public Sector Development Programmes (PSDP) also placed under the domain of the planning commission. The commission's authoritative figures includes a Chairman who is the Prime Minister, assisted by the deputy chairman, and a science advisor.

Other officials of the commissions includes Planning and Development Secretary of Pakistan; chief economist; Director of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics; Executive Director of Policy Implementation and Monitoring (PIM); and members for Social Sectors, Science and Technology, Energy, Infrastructure, and Food and Agriculture.As of 2013, the Chairman is Prime Minister of Pakistan and the current Deputy Chairman is Sartaj Aziz who is also the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms.

Rice production in Pakistan

Pakistan is the world's 11th largest producer of rice. Pakistan's exports make up 8% of world's total rice trade. It is an important crop in the agriculture economy of Pakistan. Rice is an important Kharif crop.

In the year 2016/17, Pakistan produced 6.7 million tonnes, of which around 4 million were exported, mainly to neighbouring countries, the Middle East and Africa. Rice is grown in fertile lands of Sindh and Punjab region where millions of farmers rely on rice cultivation as their major source of employment. Among the most famous varieties grown in Pakistan include the Basmati, known for its flavour and quality. Pakistan is a major producer of this variety.

Pakistan Pakistan topics
Economy of Pakistan
Banking and finance
Domestic economies
See also
Sovereign states
States with
limited recognition
Dependencies and
other territories

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