Bilateral relations

Pakistan was Australia’s 40th largest trading partner in 2020. Total goods and services trade amounted to a little more than $1.7 billion in 2020, remaining at similar levels to prior years, notwithstanding disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Australia and Pakistan Joint Trade Committee (JTC) serves as the official forum for discussing bilateral trade and investment. Australia’s main goods exports to Pakistan include vegetables, fertilisers and crude petroleum. Pakistan’s growing population presents great potential for Australia’s agricultural exports and the services sector. Major goods imports from Pakistan include made-up textiles, crude petroleum and rice.

Pakistan has extensive energy resources, including in oil, natural gas and coal. This presents a wide range of opportunities for Australian businesses in oil and gas, power and infrastructure. Snowden Mining Consultants, BHP, SMEC and CE Bartlett are Australian companies that have conducted business in mining and infrastructure projects in Pakistan.

Pakistani student enrolments in Australian institutions rose during the past two years, supported by remote learning. But tourist arrivals fell sharply in 2020 and 2021 owing to international border restrictions. The ongoing pandemic points to another year of uncertainty for tourism, and broader services exports, in 2022.

Bilateral investment between Pakistan and Australia is small. Trade and investment opportunities may exist in education, agribusiness, food and beverages, infrastructure and energy and resources.