Pakistan Studies

Main Trading Partners of Pakistan

In this article, the concept of ‘trading partners’ will be unpacked. Moreover, Pakistan’s position in the international market and the issue of trade deficit faced over the years will be briefly discussed. The main focus will be on trading partners and exports imports Pakistan does with them.

The concept of trading partners

Trading partners are those countries with whom a country does foreign trade. In other words, the countries with whom a country does exports and imports are called its trading partners. For example, Pakistan imports mineral oil from Saudi Arabia and exports meat to it. Here Saudi Arabia becomes a trading partner of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s position in the international market

Pakistan does not play a major role in the international market in terms of exports. Pakistan’s share is less than one percent of total global exports. When it comes to imports, Pakistan stands at the top of the list of the countries that heavily rely on imports. However, there are categories of exports in which Pakistan enjoys a strong position.

For example, Pakistan exports (a) textiles products, (b) sports goods, surgical instruments, carpets (c) leather and leather products (d) Fish and Fish products. These account for more than 15%, 2.16 %, 2.13%, and 0.41% in the world market respectively.

Due to limited exports both in terms of quality and quantity coupled with ever-increasing imports, the country has been facing the issue of a trade deficit from day one. By increasing the exports of manufactured and value-added products, a better position in global trade can be secured.

Main trading partners of Pakistan

Main trading partners including exports and imports related to each trading partner are mentioned along with their percentage share in a tabular form given below.

Trading  Partner Exports to the Trading partners Percentage Share of exports in 2008-09 Imports from the trading partners Percentage share of imports  in 2008-09


  • Textiles goods
  • Carpet, Rugs
  • surgical instruments  and sports goods
  • Edible/vegetable oil
  • Capital goods, machinery
  • Defense technology i.e. jets fighters, combat vehicles, and their spare parts.

Saudi Arabia

  • Animal meat i.e. Sheep and goat meat
  • Spices, Rice, raw sugar,
  • Ready-made garments



  • Mineral oil and petroleum products
  • Plastics and organic chemicals
  • Fish, fish products, vegetables, rice
  • Textiles
  • Surgical instruments
  • sports goods



  • Electrical and Electronic equipment
  • Machinery i.e. automobiles, ships, boats, etc.
  • Garments
  • Raw cotton
  • Sports goods


  • Machinery, Electrical appliances
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Animal meat, vegetables, and other food products.
  • Chemicals, wood, hides, and skins
  • Textile and clothing,
  • footwear
  • stone and glass
  • Spices, Rice
  • Ready-made garments
  • Mineral oil and petroleum products
  • Plastics and organic chemicals




  • Cotton and garment product, footwear
  • handicrafts
  • Toys and sports goods
  • Cereals and man-made staple and cotton fibers



  • Machinery, nuclear reactors
  • Electrical and electronic equipment
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Optical instruments, medical apparatus
  • Tanning, dyeing products, derivatives, pigments, etc.





Hong Kong
  • Cotton yarn
  • Leather
  • Surgical instruments
  • Precious stones






  • Mechanical appliances
  • Electronic equipment
  • Cotton yarn
  • Sugar and Sugar confectionery
  • Salt, sulfur, lime and cement



  • Defense equipment and machinery i.e. submarines, jet fighters, and their spare parts.
  • Nuclear plants, hydroelectric power plants, etc.
  • Electrical and electronic equipment i.e. mobile phones, laptops etc.
  • Toys,





  • Cereals, chemicals,
  • Seafood
  • Textiles



  • Edible and palm oil
  • Chemicals


Sri Lanka
  •  Arms and ammunition
  • Textile products
  • Machinery
  • Fertilizers
  • Cotton products





  • Tea·
  • Copra
  • rubber



Source for a percentage of exports and imports: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2008-9

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