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August 5, 2020

Businessmen call for renewed trade arrangements with UK

Business

August 5, 2020

KARACHI: Businessmen on Tuesday called for new trade arrangements between Pakistan and the United Kingdom to keep duty-free access of exports intact after Britain's exit from the European Union.

The first meeting of the Pakistan-UK Business Council of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) decided to plan a trade delegation to the UK in November and sign a memorandum of understanding with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

The meeting was advised of joint ventures between businessmen of two countries. Participants also requested to arrange post-BREXIT trade arrangement with the UK and good declaration system. The Britain is scheduled to complete its exit from the European Union (EU) bloc in December this year after completing the transition period.

The meeting urged the Pakistani authorities to have trade pacts with the UK in terms equal to generalised scheme of preference (GSP) plus of the EU. As a result of the duty-free access available to Pakistan in 27 EU member states, Pakistan’s exports to the EU rose to 7.5 billion euros in 2019 from 4.5 billion euros in 2013, depicting 65 percent growth in three years.

The GSP-Plus facility has been available to Pakistan since January 2014, The meeting was attended by Sultan Rehman, vice president of FPCCI, Amir Khawaja, vice president of UK-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Muhammad Tariq, chairman of Pak-UK Business Council of FPCCI. Trade Minister Pakistan High Commission in London Shafiq Shahzad also observed the meeting.

Tariq said the UK is one of the important trading partners of Pakistan, which plays a crucial role in economic and social development of Pakistan. He also informed the meeting about the post-BREXIT initiatives taken by various countries for enhancing the business ties between UK and respective countries.

After completion of BREXIT transition period, additional more than 250 million custom declaration will be filed and processed, he said. He urged Pakistani authorities to comply with standards and sanitary and phytosanitary measures as UK is importing 1.2 million ton of meat. Tariq underlined the need of developing Pakistani business center in UK as UK is establishing business hub wherein all the countries are establishing their offices.

“Pakistan is blessed with all kinds of resources including natural, economic and human which needs to be utilised in a manner to create wealth and employment for the country,” he said. He stressed on sector base policy for which realistic targets should be set and direction be given to achieve the objectives. There is a rapid growth of ecommerce sector which is very important in today’s environment.

The meeting was advised to organise a roundtable conference for all private and public sectors’ stakeholders from both the countries. Rehman said trade between Pakistan and UK is in favour of Pakistan. Pakistan’s exports to UK stood at $1.7 billion. Pakistan mainly exports textiles, cotton fabrics, knitwear and readymade garments, bed wear and rice to UK. During the period of availing of GSP plus status, Pakistan’s export to UK increased by $0.3 billion.