Tuesday April 16, 2024

Pakistan to seek 2 years extension in GSP plus status

August 29, 2021
Pakistan to seek 2 years extension in GSP plus status

LAHORE: Pakistan will seek two years extension in Generalized Preferential System (GSP) plus status, set to expire in 2022, from the European Union, a minister said on Saturday.

Abdul Razak Dawood, advisor to Prime Minister on commerce and investment said there are no threats to Pakistan's current GSP plus status and "no one should be worried about it"

"A few days back, I had a meeting with the prime minister and we are trying to get another two years of GSP-Plus," Dawood told newsmen at the inauguration of Pakistan Footwear Designers Hub (PFDH), a joint initiative of Punjab Industries and Commerce Department, Pakistan Footwear Manufacturers Association and United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

In March 2020, the EU extended Pakistan's GSP plus status till 2022.

Since the grant of GSP Plus in 2014, Pakistan’s exports to the European Union have enhanced from 4.54 billion euros in 2013 to 7.50 billion euros in 2020, registering an increase of 65 percent.

The main sectors that benefited from GSP Plus have been textile and garments, which besides earning foreign exchange for the country, provided major employment opportunities.

Dawood said the economic growth hinged on right and well-conceived trade and investment policies.

"We are now manufacturing and exporting mobile phones and last month, some 5,000 to 10,000 mobile phones exported from Pakistan and it could become possible only because of prudent and viable economic policies," he added.

On trade with Afghanistan, the advisor said Pakistan's trade with Afghanistan did not affect and trade consignments were still entering into Afghanistan through Torkham Border.

"At this point in time, trade with India could not be started," he responded to a query and added, "Let us concentrate on our western border and once the western border is okay then we will focus on eastern border."

He said that shoes designing in Pakistan played a very important role in the country's local and export production, and "it was a good omen that Pakistani designers in collaboration with American shoes designers were designing footwear".

He said no proper attention had been paid to the country's shoe industry for the last 10 years but the present government provided relief to the industry by reducing duties and taxes which would further be reduced so that this potential industry could grow and expand.

He was of the view that local shoes designing would largely benefit the country's small and medium enterprises and this initiative would also decrease substantially the shoes import.