The Trade Potential of Pakistan: An Application of the Gravity Model
This paper attempts to estimate Pakistan’s trade potential, using the gravity model of trade. Panel data for the period 1981-2005 across 42 countries is employed in the analysis. The coefficients obtained from the model are then used to predict the country’s trade potential worldwide as well as within specific trading regions. The results reveal that Pakistan’s trade potential is highest with countries in the Asia-Pacific region (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN]), the European Union (EU), the Middle East, Latin America, and North America. Specifically, the maximum potential exists with Japan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Italy, and Denmark. Therefore, Pakistan should explore ways and means to further improve its trade relations with the countries concerned, and also concentrate on ASEAN, the Middle East, and the EU to increase its market share as far as possible. The volume of trade between Pakistan and other members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is very low, despite the existence of significant potential. The main obstacles to this end are the political and social tensions among neighboring countries, particularly between Pakistan and India, which are the main players of SAARC. The same obstacles exist in the case of the EU and NAFTA, where Pakistani exports are adversely affected by political considerations.
Volume (Year): 16 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (Jan-Jun)
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