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January 2, 2015
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GSP Plus benefit missing in trade statistics

Business

January 2, 2015

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KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday asked the government to form a committee to materialize the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus status granted by the European Union (EU).
The FPCCI, in an annual report for the year 2014, said the benefits of the GSP Plus status are not visible in Pakistan’s trade statistics. Pakistan ran a trade deficit of $19.981 billion in the last fiscal year of 2013-14 due to rising imports and fall in exports.
The report found that the persistent decline in Pakistani exports was a drastic indicator, reflecting the insignificant impact of GSP Plus while showing deteriorating trends in external trade and continuous failure of trade policy.
“Due to bad governance and lack of infrastructure, the potential of exports to EU is not materialised yet, therefore, there is (a need) to improve the standard of the commodities exporting to the European markets,” the report said.
FPPCI said the country is also uncompetitive in cross border trade due to weak transport and logistics infrastructure.
“Investors from Pakistan must be encouraged to launch shipping line businesses and …. should be supported by fiscal and monetary incentive, including subsidised rate of interest on long term debt financing for new capital intensive ventures,” the FPCCI in its report said.
About regional trade, the report said there are a lot of opportunities that need to be explored for expansion of bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Turkey.
There is a need of early signing of preferential trade agreements between the two countries to avoid losses in mutual trade, it added.

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