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PRGMEA urges govt to lobby with EU for GSP-plus status
19
Dec '11
Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Chairman Shehzad Salim has requested the Pakistan Government to start lobbying with member countries of the European Union to earn Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP-Plus) status for the country.

During July-November this year, Pakistani garment industry has lost US$ 800 million worth of export orders owing to power crisis. The garment exports plummeted by 10 percent in October and around 17 percent in November.

PRGMEA chief said if the EU imposes a ceiling on the seven items that are presently included in the proposed list of Pakistani items qualifying for concessional access to the EU markets, there will be further reduction in garment exports, resulting in large-scale job losses in the country.

Mr. Salim expressed his unhappiness at Bangladesh and Indonesia's opposition to the EU proposal to help Pakistan, whose economy has been badly hit by factors like earthquake, war on terror and floods.

He said that it was not proper that in spite of the Bangladesh Government assuring that all objections that it raised on the issue before the World Trade Organization (WTO) would be withdrawn, Bangladesh is still opposing the proposed grant of concessional market access to Pakistan by the EU.

If Bangladesh and Indonesia continues to oppose the EU granting such a concessional access to Pakistan, it would adversely affect Pakistan's garment exports to the EU and would also obstruct Pakistan from qualifying for the GSP Plus status, Mr. Salim apprehended.

He, thus, called on the Government to act immediately and initiate steps to start lobbying with the EU member nations to earn the GSP Plus status that 49 countries including some African nations are enjoying at present.

The PRGMEA chief also recommended that the Pakistan Government should appoint an advocate to plead their case. He said that it is important that the Government officials push their case with the EU's importers bodies, as this would help the country to strengthen its case before the EU member nations.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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