Karachi (PR): A meeting was held in TDAP today (16-12-2013) under the chairmanship of Ms. Rabiya Javeri Agha, Secretary, TDAP on the subject of GSP +, which was attended by Mr. Marcel Oosterveer, the CBI expert on the subject, and representatives of different Textile and Clothing Associations in the country, including representative of Optima and DGs of TDAP.

The CBI expert briefed the participants about the GSP + programme where Pakistan was one of the ten (10) beneficiary countries. Under this programme Pakistan would get duty free access into 27 countries of EU for a number of textile and clothing products and other product sectors and category. The duration of programme will be 10 years in which the status of the beneficiary countries will reviewed after every three years. The expert explained to the participants various benchmarks and thresholds about the eligibility of the countries and the different products and products sectors.

The expert informed the participants that the purpose of the scheme was to create the conditions for sustainable increase in the exports of various sectors. But the benefits were to be dependent upon the compliance of the beneficiary countries to 27 conventions of UN/ILO under which Pakistan will be required to enforce a number of compliance measures and standards aimed at improving the work environment safety and living conditions of the labourers.

The Secretary TDAP appreciated the grant of scheme to Pakistan by EU and emphasized the importance of taking necessary steps and measures in order to continue to avail the benefits of the programme for the 10 year period. She also was of the view that we will have to be vigilant about the conditions which might sabotage the accession of the benefits under the scheme. She indicated TDAP’s availability to assist the exporters/export sectors to meet the reporting requirements of EU under the scheme in which they would regularly monitor the enforcement of the ILO conventions mentioned above.