ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Thursday said that for the first time, the exports from the country reached to $31.3 billion, attributing the success to the prudent policies of the incumbent government. Addressing a press conference here, the Adviser said that despite Covid-19, the exports witnessed around 18 percent of growth during the fiscal year 2020-21 as compared to previous year (2019-20) while the growth percentage was highest in regional economies including India and Bangladesh; “We have come out from de- industrialization and shifted into a growth phase and achieved the highest exports number in country’s economic history”, he said. Adviser said that during the outgoing financial year 2020-21, the country”s merchandise exports stood at $25.3 billion, while services exports reached to $ 6 billion. Adviser informed that services export witnessed an increase of 47 percent in FY 2020-21 as compared to previous year of 2021-20. He said that in the last month of June 2020-21, domestic exports stood at $2.7 billion. Similarly, Information Technology (IT) exports remained above $2 billion in the last fiscal year. Adviser also said that the government would sign a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Uzbekistan on July 15 of this year 2021 to enhance the regional connectivity and promotion of free trade in the regional countries. Razak Dawood said that the trade conference would be held on July 14-15 in Uzbekistan, where Pakistan and Uzbekistan would signed the two trade agreements including Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and Transit Trade Agreement between both sides. He said that Pakistan in the next phase would also start to engage with Turkmenistan on the transit trade front for enhance the connectivity with CARs. Adviser said that for promoting regional trade, Pakistan is also committed to enhance the transit trade with Afghanistan and willing to sign the Preferential Trade Agreement with Afghanistan. Adviser said that through ‘Silk Route Reconnect Policy ‘, “We are engaging with Central Asian Countries (CARs) and getting started from Uzbekistan to engage the region with economic and trade integration”.