According to the industry representatives, if the EU commission qualifies the country for GSP plus, bulk of ‘Made in Pakistan’ apparels will have duty-free access to the European Union and it is expected that rate of export growth in EU member states would increase significantly.
Speaking to fibre2fashion, chairman of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA), Mr. Sajid Saleem Minhas said, “Pakistan has submitted a formal application to the European Commission to qualify for the duty-free exports status under the new generalized system of preferences (GSP) plus scheme.”
“The European Commission technical teams will scrutinize Pakistan's application which will then be submitted to the European Parliament for approval. The whole exercise will take eight to ten months before EU's final decision,” he informs.
EU’s Special Incentive Arrangement for sustainable development and good governance, popularly known as GSP Plus, provides duty-free access to a few developing countries that fulfill its stringent criteria.
Pakistan garment industry provides highest value addition in the country’s textile sector.
When asked about the challenges faced by the Pakistan clothing sector, Mr. Minhas says, “Pakistan is the world’s fourth largest producer and the third largest consumer of cotton but lags behind many countries which do not produce their own cotton, in terms of apparel exports. There are several reasons for this, including the energy crisis.”
Pakistan apparel sector is a labor intensive industry and offers entry-level jobs for unskilled labor. Job creation, especially in the clothing sector, has been particularly strong for women, who previously had limited income opportunities outside the household or the informal sector.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India
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