Innovation and Technology Surveys

Exporter Survey and Impact of COVID-19 (2020)

The coronavirus pandemic reached Pakistan in March 2020 and like many others, the government responded with a series of lockdowns to limit the spread of the virus. The Innovation Technology Center (ITC) at Lahore School of Economics conducted a survey of exporters in June 2020 to measure the impact of the pandemic on export performance during the last few months. The sample size for this survey was 130 firms and the sampling frame consisted of exporters from Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot and Faisalabad. The majority of the surveyed exporting firms were from the textile sector while most of the other firms were sports and surgical goods exporters. The firms in the textile sector and the sports goods sector were mostly medium sized firms whereas the majority from the surgical goods sector were small firms. Below are some of the findings from the survey.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to negative economic consequences in most countries and Pakistan is no exception. The Lahore School of Economics survey of exporters has found that firms did not report significant changes in the value of their exports which is a promising sign for Pakistan’s economy. Decreased demand and decreased export volume is a concern, though at the moment this has been balanced by higher prices of exported goods. There is room for improvement in terms of the support the government can offer to exporters during this turbulent time, though exporters were generally satisfied. But it is important to note that exporters were weary of further currency depreciation. Nonetheless, the future of Pakistani exports is not only dependent on how the pandemic impacts Pakistan, but how the pandemic impacts the export destination countries as well. So, while the value of Pakistani exports has not changed dramatically during the pandemic so far, falling global demand has the potential to hurt future Pakistani exports.

Link to the Article: