Products Contributing to the Rising Exports of Pakistan

Pakistan's exports

Pakistan was losing its share of exports in the world, which meant that the import bill was increasing year on year leading to an unprecedented trade deficit. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the smart lockdowns imposed in Pakistan allowed it to reopen its industrial sector before India and Bangladesh, hence beating them in the international market. This led to an increase in Pakistan’s export and also allowed the much-needed opportunity to expand its export portfolio.

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Export Products


Pakistan's export profile chart


Pakistan’s agrarian nature is reflected in its export portfolio, as noted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Cotton manufacturers, leather products, and rice comprise around 70 per cent of the total export portfolio while the share of all other commodities combined is 30 per cent.

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), established in 2006, is responsible for promoting Pakistani exports. TDAP publishes a monthly export trade report to showcase Pakistan’s export and import profile.

As per the report of November 2021, below is the list of top 10 export items of Pakistan are:


Export of cotton products like bedsheets, table linen, kitchen linen, and toilet linen amounted to a value of 3.25 billion USD in the year 2020 and saw a year-on-year increase of 0.18 per cent and is the biggest export of Pakistan. 

In terms of export destinations, the USA, the UK, and Germany held a share of 29, 14.7, and 9.78 per cent respectively, while their share (in terms of million USD) was 957, 482, and 318 million.


The cotton export of Pakistan brought in 2.64 billion USD in the year 2020 but the commodity saw a year-on-year decline of 18.5 per cent.

China, Bangladesh, and the USA were the biggest export destinations for raw cotton as they held a share of 24, 16.1, and 7.1 per cent respectively, while the share in terms of million USD was 645, 427, and 187 million.


Owing to the efforts of the Rice Export Association of Pakistan, the rice exports amounted to 2.1 billion USD in 2020, and the top export destinations were China, Kenya, and Afghanistan, which held a share of 12.2 (256 million USD), 7.59 (159 million USD), and 6.93 (145 million USD) per cent respectively.

Rice exports, when compared to 2019, saw a 7.44 per cent year-on-year decline.

Cotton Yarn

Pakistan’s export of cotton yarn amounted to 805 million USD in 2020 and, mimicking the exports of cotton, saw a decline of 25.13 per cent (a drop of 270 million USD) from 2019.

As for export destinations, China, Bangladesh, and Turkey were the top destinations and held a share of 71 (577 million USD), 6.13 (49 million USD), and 3.79 (30 million) per cent respectively.


To diversify its export portfolio, Pakistan has been focusing on the export of denim since 2017. With the help of the top denim exporters in Pakistan denim has retained second place (with 17.46 per cent of global denim export) as an exporter of denim after China (which had an 18.72 per cent share in the global denim export).

As of 2021, Pakistan has overtaken China with exports of 275.89 million USD, while China exported 274.63 million USD.

Men’s and Boy’s Suits

Export of men’s and boy’s suits amounted to 526 million USD in 2020. The top destinations for these exports were the USA, UK, and Spain, which held 29 (157 million USD), 21 (112 million USD), and 12.6 (66 million USD) per cent share in the total export of the commodity.

When compared to 2019, the commodity saw a year-on-year decrease of 5.07 (28 million USD) per cent.

Leather Products

The export of leather products is increasing in Pakistan. As per the Pakistan Tanner Association Annual Report (2020-2021), the export of raw leather and prepared leather products witnessed an increase of 8.86 per cent from 2019 and amounted to 833.19 million USD.

As for finished products, Pakistan exported leather garments, handbags, trunks, gloves, footwear, and other products. The top destinations were Vietnam, China, and Italy, which held 23 (12.3 million USD), 12.3 (6.63 million USD), and 10 (5.39 million USD) per cent share in exports.

Plain Weave

In terms of woven fabric, Pakistan exported plain weaves worth 665 million USD in 2020. The top destinations were Bangladesh, Turkey, and Sri Lanka, which held a share of 39 (263 million), 12.1 (80 million USD), and 5.84 (38 million USD) per cent respectively.

Sesame Seeds

A major media outlet reported that, on average, 100,000 tonnes of sesame seeds are produced in Pakistan, of which 85 per cent is exported and the remaining is utilized in bakery products and the preparation of sweets. It was also reported that, in 2021, Pakistan’s sesame seeds export to China were worth 120 million USD.

Export Partners


Pakistan's export partners in terms of export share (in million uSD)


As per the report of November 2021, the top export partners along with their share of imports from Pakistan are:


Trading PartnersShare in Million USD
United States633.92
United Kingdom184.72
United Arab Emirates144.54
The Netherlands138.14


Although 70 per cent of Pakistan’s exports are textile, leather, and rice, it is witnessing a shift in terms of export as the IT sector makes leaps. In November 2021, IT exports rose by 30 per cent to 830 million USD and the current target has been set at 3.7 billion USD. 

Pakistan can benefit a great deal by contributing to the IT sector, especially with the recent rise of virtual reality and the metaverse where you can purchase virtual real estate

For more updates on Pakistan’s trade industry and other sectors, you can visit

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