Experts from various Government and private sectors of Pakistan discussed the opportunities that would come to Pakistan due to the Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status conferred to it by the European Union, which came into effect this year, at a one-day conference on ‘GSP Plus: Opportunities Through Good Governance’, at Mariott Hotel in Karachi.
The GSP+ incentive has a major focus on principles of good governance and respect for labour rights, human rights and environmental rights. The conference brought together industry leaders, regulators, trade authorities, small and medium sized enterprises, and financial institutions to discuss what the GSP+ status entails and how it provides an opportunity to embed good governance for the long-term sustainable development of trade and commerce in Pakistan.
In his keynote address, M Yasin Siddik, chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), said Pakistan was not provided with a level-playing field in global trade prior to the GSP Plus status, as most of its goods attracted 6-18 percent duty for entering the EU markets.
Mr. Siddik said Pakistan’s textile trade was only US$ 13 billion, which was less than 2 percent of the global textile trade of $725 billion.
He said the GSP+ facility necessitates Pakistan’s private sector to show high levels of compliance. He said the biggest problem was the energy crisis being faced by the manufacturing sector.
Speaking at the conference organized by the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance, Iqbal Ebrahim, CEO of Orient Textile Mills, said both the public and the private sectors should collectively take steps for complying good governance norms, as required under the GSP+ Scheme.
Mr. Ebrahim said Pakistan needs to take care of the 27 international conventions to succeed in the reassessment that the EU would do in 2017, otherwise it would lose important duty concessions.
The textile industry in Pakistan is expected to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of new duty concessions to the EU market.
In fiscal year 2012-13 that ended on June 30, Pakistan’s textile exports stood at $13.1 billion, registering a 53 percent share in the country’s total exports during the period.
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