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India opposes EU concession to Pakistan at WTO
May '11
At the World Trade Organization (WTO), India has opposed European Union's (EU) $900 million proposal for granting duty-free access to Pakistani textile exports.

India informed the General Council of the WTO, the apex decision-making body of the organization that the package would adversely impact the exports of other competing nations which would have to continue paying 6-12 percent duty on textile exports to the EU.

Further, India even contended that, the relief package in no way aided the flood victims. Peru, Vietnam and Bangladesh backed India at the Council, which took over the matter as the junior level 'Goods Council' failed to decide on the matter within the scheduled time of 90 days.

May 30 is the deadline for the 27-member bloc to build a consensus, failing which, the proposal will be dropped. Pakistan would earn duty-free access to the EU for 75 items, 64 of which are textiles, for three years.

The proposal can be passed only if all the WTO members give their consent and grant support to the proposal, as the multilateral trading rules stipulate equal treatment for all member countries.

India previously stated that, it had no objections with the EU providing any direct help to the flood hit country as relief measure, but opposed the duty concessions, stating that it would only aid the textile sector and not the flood victims.

Editor's note –
The Pakistani textile sector was hoping to boost the prospects of the industry with the help of the duty concessions on 64 textile items. But going by the general global consensus, it seems, the passage of the concession will face tough opposition from various countries.

Fibre2fashion News Desk

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