KARACHI: “The European Parliament has, in principle, approved GSP Plus status for Pakistani products landing in UK from January 1, 2014,” said Mohammad Hamid Ali, Commercial Consul of Pakistan in the UK.
Talking to newsmen at the reception for UK delegates attending Expo Pakistan at the British Deputy High Commission in Karachi, Ali said that the export criteria for GSP Plus status had been revised from the existing one percent to two percent and a notice to this effect would follow shortly.
Moreover, the European Parliament has also approved zero duty on 75 products with effect from January 1, 2013.
“UK is one of Pakistan’s most important markets. Bilateral trade between both countries is on a steady rise due to the focused efforts and commitment of both governments to achieve the target of 2.5 billion pounds by 2015,” he said.
“The recent duty waiver from the European Union on 75 products from Pakistan will encourage British businesses to buy from Pakistan and we hope that Expo Pakistan 2012 will provide a useful opportunity to avail this duty waiver,” Ali added.
Ali said that Expo Pakistan was a big event as 20 buyers were visiting Pakistan. He hoped that this would fetch investment worth over $100 million for Pakistan.
It was also learnt that a private UK company would be coming to Pakistan early next month to finalise the modalities regarding developing a medium sized power plant with an investment of $300 million.
A MoU to this effect had already been inked with the Sindh government.
Francis Campbell, British Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan, said that due to the the UK’s historical and cultural links and the easy use of English as the business language, Pakistan presented numerous opportunities for investment, aiming both at using Pakistan as an export base and at tapping into an emerging market with a rapidly growing middle class.
“On the other hand, UK companies have the latest knowledge and technology in the areas of agriculture, healthcare and energy which are much needed in Pakistan to develop the country’s industrial base.
Events like Expo Pakistan facilitate this exchange of people, knowledge and ideas and are crucial in achieving our objective of increasing bilateral trade between the UK and Pakistan,” Campbell remarked.
Approximately 30 companies from the UK and recruited by the Pakistan High Commission in London and the Pakistan Consulate in Manchester are attending Expo Pakistan 2012.
The companies belong to an assortment of sectors ranging from textile, agriculture, information technology, sports goods, homeware and food, who are interested in export opportunities with Pakistan. UK consultants from the services industry will also be attending the exhibition.
* Zero duty on 75 Pakistani products from January 2013
* Expo to fetch $100 million investment from UK
* Bilateral trade to touch 2.5 billion pounds by 2015