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WTO's GSP facility: Pakistan govt urged to appease Bangladesh
Nov '11
Pakistan Government has been urged to appease the Government of Bangladesh for withdrawing its opposition to the grant of Generalised System of Preference (GSP) facility to Pakistan under the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules for 75 of its export items, including garments and textiles.

Earlier, Bangladesh made an appeal to the WTO to not to grant GSP facility to Pakistan as doing so would affect its textile and garment exports to the European Union. In its appeal, Bangladesh said if the proposed GSP facility was granted to Pakistan, it would negatively impact countries like it. A final decision on the matter will be taken at the next council meeting of the WTO scheduled to take place during the third week of this month.

Being a least developed country (LDC), Bangladesh already enjoys the GSP facility for its exports to EU countries.

The members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) have urged the Government to take strong steps for earning free custom duty exports from Pakistan to EU countries. They suggested that Pakistan should send its Foreign and Commerce Ministers to Bangladesh to negotiate with that country's officials on the terms that could facilitate Pakistan's entry in the duty-free custom area in EU countries.

Of the 75 products for which Pakistan is seeking GSP facility to EU countries, there are eight items in which Bangladesh is a strong player. These include readymade garments (RMG), home textiles, knitwear, jeans, footwear and leather goods.

According to KCCI, duty exemption of 75 items is likely to result in a projected increase of around US$150 million worth of Pakistani exports to the EU.

At present, EU imports 3.4 billion euros worth of goods from Pakistan annually. These include the import of the 75 items in the list worth 920 million euros.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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