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Pakistan Hopes To Obtain EU GSP+ Tariff Concessions

Monday, February 8, 2010

Zafar Mehmood, Federal Secretary for Commerce, at a meeting with the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has disclosed that Pakistan is to apply to the European Union (EU) for tariff concessions for its goods exports under the Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) arrangements.

The additional preferences under the EU’s GSP+ are targeted as an incentive to vulnerable developing countries to implement a set of key international conventions in the fields of human rights, core labour standards, sustainable development, and good governance. The GSP+ tariff concessions – which take the form of duty-free access – cover roughly 6,400 products.

While the political situation has improved, he confirmed that the country’s trade was still being affected by a number of issues. He said that all the relevant information has been compiled in a booklet and documentary for presentation to the EU, and felt that a strong case for GSP+ preferences could be made in a forthcoming Pakistan-EU meeting.

With regard to possible bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries, he informed the meeting that the government has established a committee for their preparation and evaluation, so that Pakistan would be assured of obtaining maximum benefit from their completion. He pointed to the existing FTA with China, from which, he said, the country had obtained little return.