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WTO approves duty-free export of Pak textiles to EU

Feb '12
The World Trade Organization's (WTO's) Council for Trade in Goods has approved a package that would allow duty-free export of 75 Pakistani items to the EU markets until the end of 2013.

The two-year tariff waiver will enter into force once it gets formal approval from the WTO General Council and subsequent completion of EU's internal procedures.

The EU package is aimed at supporting the south Asian country cope with economic losses suffered due to heavy floods in 2010.

It is expected to substantially boost Pakistan's textile exports, which constitute over 70 percent of around €3 billion (US$ 3.9 billion) worth of total Pakistani exports to EU nations.

Pakistan is the largest trading partner of EU and it accounts for nearly 30 percent of all EU imports.

The 75 items that are included in the waiver would approximately account for €900 million in terms of imports, that is, about 27 percent of all Pakistan's exports to EU countries.

The WTO has approved such exclusive trade terms for one of its members at the behest of EU, owing to exceptional circumstances faced by Pakistan in the aftermath of the devastating floods of 2010.

The WTO approval has materialized after nearly 18 months of discussions and it is expected to boost Pakistan's total exports by 15-20 percent.

Prior to WTO approval, several countries including India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Brazil and Argentina had objected to the EU duty-free proposal for Pakistan.

The fears of these countries were allayed by applying tariff rate quotas instead of full waiver on 20 Pakistani products.

Click here to view the complete list of Pakistani products that qualify for exemption of customs duty upon importation into EU.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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