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EU duty concession to Pakistan held back temporarily

28
Jan '11
Muhammad Aasim Shah, leader of the Value-Added Textile Forum (VTF) while sharing his experiences regarding the Heimtex festival, the world's biggest textile fair recently held in Germany's Frankfurt said that, regardless of the fact that the government intends to observe 2011 as the 'Year of Export', the fair generated dissatisfaction amongst the textile exporters of Pakistan.

He said that, after many efforts and demands from the Pakistani exporters, and in view of the frontline role played by Pakistan in war against terrorism and the damages caused by the recent flood, the European Union granted 75 textile products from Pakistan with duty free access to its markets from January 1, 2011.

But then, quite disappointedly the EU has been required to hold back its decision for three more months, as the Indian lobby at the EU proved to be so powerful and effective that it pressed the EU to defer its decision of granting such access to Pakistan. Thus, as the buyers have not been able to cash in on this duty free access as announced by the EU while buying goods from Pakistan, they have started relocating their businesses to China and India.

Earlier, in the mid part of 2010, the EU decided to grant duty-free access to Pakistan, and this proved to be a positive move in favour of Pakistan, as many importers switched to Pakistan to gain from the duty-free facility. Also this considerably boosted the country's exports during the last few months, the statistics revealed.

But now, the importers are feeling that the Pakistani government has failed to persuade the EU member countries to gain support for earning the duty free access, and that too particularly when the opposing lobby is quite powerful, Shah said.

He further advised that, Pakistan has an opportunity ahead as it can once again raise its claim for earning the facility at the EU's forthcoming joint meeting session. The issue has now become a question of pride for the Pakistani government and also the exporters, he added.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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