Karachi (PR) : In a joint statement by Shahzad Azam Khan, Central Chairman, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association; M. Jawed Bilwani, Chairman, Pakistan Apparel Forum; Kamran Chandna, Chairman, PAKSEA and Khwaja M. Usman, Chairman, PCFA greatly lauded the decision of European Union Parliament’s International Trade Committee to grant GSP plus to Pakistan and hoped that this would greatly boost the exports of the Value Added Textile Sector and creating job opportunities. They urged the European Parliament’s plenary session to finally pass the resolution in favour of Pakistan which is a front line state and ally of the US and EU in its fight against terrorism.
However they said that it was important to note that the GSP plus status if granted in the European Parliament’s plenary session to be held on December 10, 2013 would require our country to implement all the 27 international conventions on Human Rights, Labour Standard, Environment and Good Governance as well as complete homework in the matter otherwise Pakistan will be a great loser like in the case of Duty Free Access for 75 items.
Elaborating on the intricacies of the GSP plus, they emphasized on the importance of boosting of the exports of Pakistan however he remarked that even after grant of Duty Free Access to Pakistan for 75 items by the European Union effective 15th November, 2012 although it was actually to be effective from 1st January, 2012 as a result of which our exporters were able to utilize only 10% of quote for the year 2012 and exports many of the 75 items, declined as compared to exports of 2010-2011 supporting enclosed. They said that it was very unfortunate that while the MOC was happy that EU had granted duty free access for 75 items for exports from Pakistan the required homework was not done as in case of approx. 50% of the tariff lines did not match that of the tariff lines of European Union. E.g. H.S. Code of the EU Customs: 6101.2090 does not exist in the Pakistan Customs Tariff. In this regard, they said that the Association had also addressed this matter in the case of some members to MoC, TDAP, FBR and MINTEX but still the matter has not been resolved. They said that this was one of the reason that our exports declined and unfortunately we did not benefit at all from this grant by EU.
As far as GSP plus is concerned, they said, it was important to consider the condition that the export market share of any product should not exceed the 6% ceiling of import of European Union. They further pointed out that most of the textile items included in the list of GSP plus items have already crossed the 6% ceiling set by the GSP plus condition.
They said exporters from various industries in Pakistan are expecting the access to European markets, which promise huge potential for multiplying the country’s current exports.