Govt lauded for winning EU trade concessions


ISLAMABAD, MAR 8 (DNA) – Extension of trade concessions for Pakistan by the European Union is a great development for which the credit goes to the incumbent government, a business leader said on Sunday.The decision to extend Genera­lised System of Preferences-Plus (GSP-Plus) status for Pakistan for two years will boost our export sector and stabilise an economy that is facing problems, said Shahid Rasheed Butt former President ICCI.

In a statement issued here today, he said that the extension in the GSP-Plus status is recognition of the progress by Pakistan in the last two years on strengthening laws and institutions and improved human and labour rights situation, environment, narcotics control and corruption.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that importance of GSP-Plus for Pakistan’s exports can be judged from the fact that our shipments to the EU have increased by 65 percent from 4.5 billion euros in 2013 to 7.5 billion euros in 2019.

The exports for the current fiscal can surpass nine billion euros due to falling exports of China and some other countries which will be a blessing, he added.

He said that presently the country’s exports are declining as the government is trying to tackle the worst economic slowdown. The only way out of its financial troubles is through a rapid boost in exports.

The EU trade concession can go a long way in helping it achieve sustainable economic growth, therefore, the business community should do their best to capitalise further on this trade enhancement opportunity, he said.

The business leader said that the government should improve curbs on freedom of expression, media and expulsion of international NGOs within the next two years or it will risk losing trade concessions granted by the EU.

The duty-free access has been crucial for Pakistani products to maintain their edge in the EU market vis-à-vis similar products originating from India, Turkey, Vietnam and China.

Any change in EU perception can expose Pakistan exports to EU to tough competition with rival countries that will be difficult to manage for our exporters, he said.=DNA