ISLAMABAD: In a landmark decision the European Parliament (EP) has voted to approve draft legislation for the new EU scheme for Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) under which Pakistan will be joining the countries that will be entitled to receive duty free treatment from 2014.
Pakistan had been trying hard for a number of years to attain this status and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday felicitated the federal commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim and commerce secretary Zafar Mahmood for successfully pleading Pakistan’s case with the European Union.
Prime Minister Gilani also thanked president European Commission, President European Council and EU Parliament for according approval to the draft legislation. In the meanwhile the ministry of commerce has stated that the passage of the draft act in EU would pave the way for the concessionary mechanism to come into force from 2014.
The scheme will replace the current GSP scheme from January 2014, under which some of the existing criteria for GSP Plus beneficiaries have also been changed. This will make Pakistan and a few other countries eligible to apply for GSP Plus, provided they fulfill the other criteria such as the commitment to effectively implement 7 international conventions relating to good governance, human rights and sustainable development etc. In case Pakistan is able to meet all the criteria for GSP Plus, its exports to the EU under the concessionary tariff lines will receive duty free treatment from 2014 onwards.