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Fresh hurdles in Pakistan gaining EU GSP Plus status

15
May '12
Pakistan's textile exports to the EU continue to face a number of objections and the latest issue to crop up is the objection raised by Spain, Portugal and Germany.

In February this year, the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) unanimously cleared the way for providing trade concessions to 75 items of Pakistan, including 64 textiles and garment items.

However, prior to the WTO approval, Brazil, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Argentina, India, Peru and Vietnam objected granting of such preferential access to Pakistani goods in the EU, Ghulam Rabbani, a member of Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association (PYMA) said.

It was only after resolution of their issues that these countries dropped their objections, paving way for the approval by WTO, he added.

Now the Pakistani textile industry faces a new issue as Spain, Portugal and Germany – all three European countries – have raised objections to the grant of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) to Pakistan in the midst of apprehensions of economic downturn in Europe.

It is for the third time that these countries have impeded the way of Pakistan in the recent meeting of European Parliament, Mr. Rabbani said.

The WTO's granting of approval raised many hopes for Pakistan earning the GSP Plus status, but now again it is all in doldrums. Following recent objections, textile made-ups and garment exporters of Pakistan fear a further cut or scraping of the package, he added.

He said the trade concessions package would now be redrafted in view of the objections and if this redrafted package fails or is not implemented, it is likely to negatively impact Pakistan's bid for GSP Plus, commencing from January 1, 2014.

He thus called on the Ministry of Commerce to try building a consensus to convince WTO's Council for Trade in Goods (CTG) to grant unilateral duty-free market access to Pakistani good.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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