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Last update: November 2011



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Basic Economic Facts


US $174.9 billion Nominal (2010 est.)
US $464.9 billion PPP (2010 est.)

GDP per head:

US $2,500 (2010 est.)


Annual Growth

4.8 % (2010 est.)



13.4% (2010 est.)


Major Industries:

Textiles and apparel, food processing, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, paper products, fertilizer, shrimp


Major Trading Partners:

Total Value of Exports in 2010: US $20.29 billion

Primary Export Commodities:

  • Textiles
  • Leather goods
  • Sports goods
  • Chemicals
  • Carpets and Rugs

Top 3 Export Partners:

  • US (15.87%)
  • UAE (12.35 percent)
  • Afghanistan (8.48 percent)


Total value of imports in 2010: US $32.71 billion

Primary Import Commodities:

  • Petroleum
  • Petroleum products
  • Machinery
  • Paper Products
  • Plastics
  • Tea
  • Transportation Equipment
  • Edible oils
  • Iron and steel

Top 3 Import Partners:

  • China (15.35 percent)
  • Saudi Arabia (10.54 percent)
  • UAE (9.8 percent)


Trade with the United Kingdom


UK Exports:  (Jan - May 2009)  189.8m.

Major Pakistani imports from the UK are specilalised industrial machinery, power generation machinery, telecommunication and broadcasting equipment, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and medical products and Metalliferous ores and metal scrap.


Exports to the UK:  (Jan - May 2009) 222.9m.

Major Pakistani exports to the UK are textiles, rice, leather/leather products, carpets and fruit.



Britain and Pakistan have always enjoyed mutually beneficial trade relations.

The UK is the fourth largest exporter among OECD countries to Pakistan. In 2009 the UK exported 529.9 million worth of goods to Pakistan. Pakistan exported some 523.3 million worth of goods to the UK in 2008.

The UK is the second largest overseas investor in Pakistan with US$860.1m and 19.7% market share (July 08 - June 10).  There are over 100 British companies operating in Pakistan.  

Textile manufacturers has invested heavily in the balancing and modernisation of their production facilities, hence this sub-sector has shown significant improvement in the productivity. The motor vehicle sector has seen tremendous growth following the increasing availability of cheaper financing which has also fuelled the construction sector. Telecoms, ICT and Power expansion along with oil and gas expansion are set to attract further companies and investment.

Improved industrial productivity has resulted in a significant increase in imports., particularly in the import of machinery, raw materials and industrial chemicals. The import target for the FY05 was been revised from US$ 16billion to US$ 18.5billion.

Pakistan is a large country with a reasonably well developed infrastructure which holds the potential for a significant amount of business for UK companies. Because of our historical and commercial ties many Pakistani Businesses see Britain as the country of first choice to do business with. English is the language of business and with our long standing trading links, many British companies are well established in Pakistan. It is, however, a long-term market with some potential pitfalls.

Principal commercial centres and towns:

Punjab: Cement, Oil, Steel manufacturing, Leather, Textiles, Automotive, Education, Telecommunication, Sports goods, Machinery, Electrical appliances, Surgical instruments, Metals, Bicycles and rickshaws, Floor coverings, Processed foods, Paper and paperboards, Fertilisers, Sugar, Telecommunications. 
Sindh: Port, Tourism, Textiles, Steel, Leather, IT/telecommunication, Construction, Education, Financial service, Automotive, Fisheries.
Baluchistan: Exploration, Mining, Ports and shipping, Fisheries
North West Frontier Province: Manufacturing, Electronic goods, Food processing, Mining.

Islamabad is the Federal capital and as such the political and administrative centre of the country. Karachi is the capital of Sindh and the commercial centre of Pakistan having the country's main port. Lahore, the capital of Punjab, is also an important commercial centre.

Source: UKTI


Pakistani Relations with the UK

Relations between the UK and the people of Pakistan are warm and close, made even more so by the substantial number of Pakistani origin British citizens (some 1 million) who live in the UK. We are uniquely connected:

  • Over a 1billion (120billion Rupees) worth of trade flow between our two countries each year
  • Almost 10,000 Pakistanis studying in the UK
  • 1.4 million journeys between Pakistan and the UK each year
  • The UK is the second largest investor in Pakistan

Prime Minister Cameron and President Zardari agreed  to strengthen UK-Pakistan relationship in London on 6 August 2010 though an enhanced UK-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. This will lead to strengthened co-operation between the two countries in areas of  global and regional peace and stability, people-to-people links, trade and investment, education, culture, and parliamentary.

Recent outgoing high-level visits from the UK have included:

  • UK Foreign Secretary, Mr William Hague visited Pakistan on the 23rd June 2011.
  • UK International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell visited Pakistan on the 31st May 2011.
  • UK Prime Minister, David Cameron visited Pakistan on the 5th April 2011.
  • UK Home Secretary, Theresa May visited Pakistan on the 24th October 2010.

Recent Ministerial visits from Pakistan have included:

  • President Asif Ali Zardari - August 2010
  • President Pervez Musharraf - Sep 2006
  • Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz - March 2006
  • Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri - Jan 2006

Source: UK Foreign Office


UK Development Assistance

The United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) is working with the Pakistan government, multilateral and bilateral partners to help build a stable, prosperous and more democratic system withinin Pakistan. The Department For International Development has stated it would like to focus its attention in the following areas:

  • Building peace and stability across the region and making democracy stick by improving poor governance and strengthening democratic principles.
  • Supporting economic stability, higher quality public spending and better growth which creates more economic opportunities.
  • Helping the state to deliver better quality services to the people who need them most

If progress is made on reforms, as with other partners, the UKs aid to Pakistan will average 350 million per year over four years. Increased aid to Pakistan will be linked to progress on reform as the Government of Pakistan takes steps to build a more dynamic economy, tackle corruption and bring stability.

The UK has committed 665 million to fight poverty in Pakistan from 2009-2013, over this period Pakistan will become one of the UK's largest aid recipients. This includes a 250m education programme, support for better economic management and governance; 50m to support stabilisation and reconstruction in the conflict-affected areas bordering Afghanistan; and 182m on health.

Source: Department for International Development


Cultural Relations with the UK

Relations between Pakistan and the United Kingdom are currently at their peak with around 1 million British citizens claiming Pakistani heritage, and US$2bn worth of trade flowing between the two countries each year. There have recently been two high-level visits - those of the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister, this illustrates how important the relationship between Pakistan and the United Kingdom is.
Source: British high commission

Human Rights

The British Government is concerned about human rights violations in Pakistan, particularly the situation of minorities. The cases of individuals facing the death penalty on blasphemy charges have attracted parliamentary and public interest in the UK. Other human rights issues of concern include discrimination against the Ahmadi community, forced marriages, honour killings, child and bonded labour and the treatment of women, particularly in rural communities.

With our EU partners we will continue to urge the Pakistani authorities to redouble their efforts to bring the perpetrators of human rights violations and terrorists acts to justice. We continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to fully guarantee the fundamental rights of all Pakistani citizens, particularly the most vulnerable (women, minorities and children) as laid down in the Constitution of Pakistan and in accordance with international human rights standards.

Source: UKTI


Pakistan outlook - ADB

Improved economic fundamentals have enhanced the resilience of the economy and helped absorb shocks, including higher global oil prices and 2005's devastating earthquake. But growth has generated a heavy imbalance in the external current account, which could affect economic momentum. The current account deficit has been financed largely from strong incoming foreign investment. External sources have also been employed, increasingly, to finance the fiscal deficit. Issues of long-term sustainability therefore arise, especially in a context of high global oil and commodity prices and domestic political uncertainties.

Source: Asian Development Bank


Last update: November 2011 

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