Written By: Afreen Baig
Foreign Reserves – a significant economic indicator and of vital importance to every expanding economy. Foreign Reserves is the first and basic economic indicator that transmits an air of confidence and trust, amongst the potential foreign & local investors and the nation. Foreign Reserves are held in abundance and accumulated – in order to sustain the confidence of a country’s capacity to carry out external trade confidently, to balance the momentum between demand & supply of foreign currencies, and also used as an intervention tool by the State Bank. Reserves also bail out the economy in times of financial crisis.
By October 2007, at the end of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz’s tenure, Pakistan raised back its Foreign Reserves to a handsome $16.4 billion. His exceptional policies kept our trade deficit controlled at $13 billion, exports boomed to $18 billion, revenue generation increased to become $13 billion and attracted foreign investment of $8.4 billion.
Pakistan recently has seen a drastic drop in its Reserves by 50% and its currency devalued by 40%, which has left ordinary people confused and the usual cynics have started heaping the blame onto the policies of Mr. Shaukat Aziz, without even knowing the basic macro-economic indicators nor understanding the relationship b/w Foreign reserves, Trade deficit and Currency devaluation.
The Trade deficit (Exports minus Imports) is always managed in ratio to Revenue generation, Capital inflows and Reserves. Almost all developing economies face the dread of trade deficit but their abundant foreign reserves gives them the fiscal space to overcome those grievances.