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APTMA: Bangladesh should compliment PAK on GSP+ in EU
Nov '11
Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Mohsin Aziz said Wednesday that objections raised by Bangladesh about Pakistan on GSP plus status in the EU market are unfounded as Pakistan would never be a threat to Bangladesh apparel industry in the European Union market.

It may be noted that Bangladesh has objected entry of eight items of clothing sector of Pakistan to the EU market in a recent development in a meeting held this week in the European Commission.

Chairman APTMA termed this move as unfair and said that Pakistan has never objected Bangladesh and instead let it grow in the EU market. As a result, Bangladesh exports to the EU have reached to $16 billion today in clothing sector from merely $2 billion a few years back, he said.

Pakistan, on the contrary, has peaked to a mere $1.5 billion in clothing sector in a market of $80 billion in total, he added.

Chairman APTMA said Bangladesh has already developed strong inroads to the EU due to its Least Developed Country (LDC) status and therefore enjoying a favourable environment and market access.

He said entry of clothing sector products of Pakistan to the EU would not yield any significant new investment in the country as this status, if allowed, would be for initial period of just two years and thus it would only activate the idle and unutilized capacities until 2014. Therefore there is no threat to Bangladesh market, he added.

Mohsin said Bangladesh clothing sector has already grown, having a huge share of $16 billion in the EU market, and it has growing constantly with a comparatively low cost of doing business against Pakistan.

In fact, Pakistan qualifies for market access to the EU on the humanity grounds similar to the Bangladesh after being hit severely hit by natural calamities including flood earthquake etc. besides bearing the brunt of war on terrorism. Therefore, he said, Pakistan needs special favour and a brotherly country like Bangladesh should not oppose it.

Chairman APTMA has urged the federal government and the ministry of commerce to take up the issue on ministerial as well as foreign level in the larger interest of the country's exports. He said this issue is more important than the MFN status to India and demands immediate attention of the government policymakers.

He has expressed the hope that Pakistan government would take Bangladesh government into confidence and would ensure it that both the brotherly countries should be complimenting each other rather than competing each other.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA)

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