UK to double trade with Pakistan by 2025

August 18, 2022

ISLAMABAD: While announcing tariff reductions and simpler terms of trade for 65 developing countries, the United Kingdom on Wednesday said it wanted to double its trade with Pakistan in three...

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ISLAMABAD: While announcing tariff reductions and simpler terms of trade for 65 developing countries, the United Kingdom on Wednesday said it wanted to double its trade with Pakistan in three years.

“A prosperous UK-Pakistan relationship matters. As we celebrate 75 years of our bilateral relations, we want to further cement our strong ties and double bilateral trade by 2025. The newly announced DCTS [Developing Countries Trading Scheme] will be pivotal in achieving this,” said UK’s Trade Director for Pakistan and British Deputy High Commissioner Sarah Mooney after launch of the scheme by the country’s international trade secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

The initiative of tariff reductions and simpler terms of trade for 65 countries, including Pakistan, will be implemented early next year. Some of the specific goods, which benefit most from the DCTS in Pakistan, include over £250 million of average annual exports to the UK of bed linen and almost £100 million of jeans, which will each receive a 12 per cent reduction in import duty.

According to Sarah Mooney, the scheme will help the countries in question grow and prosper, and in turn tackle poverty by harnessing the power of trade. The DCTS replaces the UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences, a preferential trading system that provides tariff removals and reductions on various products.

“Under the DCTS, Pakistan will continue to benefit from duty-free exports to the UK. In addition, the DCTS will remove tariffs on over 156 additional products and simplify some seasonal tariffs, meaning additional and simpler access for Pakistan’s exports to the UK,” she said.

The UK trade director said the annual trade between her country and Pakistan, both goods and services, totalled £2.9 billion. Under the scheme, 94 per cent of goods exported from Pakistan will be eligible for duty-free access to the UK, so Pakistan will save £120 million in tariffs on exports to the UK.

Sarah Mooney said Pakistan and other DCTS countries would also be supported to participate in the international trading system through the UK’s Trade Centre of Excellence, which was to provide specialist support so that they can fully participate in the global trading system. This will include support on meeting trade standards and participating in multilateral trade fora, she said.

The UK trade director said the DCTS was a major milestone in growing free and fair trade with 65 developing nations that were home to more than 3.3 billion people. She added that it was one of the most generous trade preferences schemes in the world, providing preferential trade access to 65 developing countries which collectively export over £21 billion in goods to the UK.

“The DCTS retains and strengthens the government’s powers to suspend countries from the scheme if they systematically violate human rights and labour rights. It grounds all suspension decisions in the principles and obligations of international conventions and extends these to include climate change and environment-related obligations. This signals UK’s commitment to tackling climate change and reducing trade that is harmful to the environment,” she said.



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