Business community take advantage of GSP+ by diversifying exports: EU Envoy

EU Envoy
KARACHI, Jan 09 (APP): Ambassador of European Union (EU) to Pakistan, Dr. Riina Kionka, Tuesday, advised business community of Karachi to broaden and diversify their exports to EU for taking maximum advantage of EU’s GSP Plus scheme for Pakistan which has recently been rolled over for four more years up to 2027.
The EU envoy, while exchanging views at a meeting during her visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), said that EU’s GSP Plus for Pakistan has been rolled over without any changes to the rules framework so everything was going to stay the same up to 2027, said a statement issued here.
“GSP Plus has been extremely positive and useful in economic terms during the last 10 years as it helped in increasing Pakistan’s exports to EU by 108 percent while EU imports also ascended by 40 percent since the start of this program”, she added.
Riina Kionka termed GSP Plus as tremendously important for Pakistan’s economy as it was beneficial not only for textile producers but also through the trickle-down effect of all those people who work in textile factories.
While identifying Gems and Jewelry, Tourism, Handcrafts and Auto Parts etc. as potential sectors under GSP Plus, the EU Envoy noted that 28 percent of Pakistan’s exports come to European single market which was a good number but it could further be enhanced.
She informed that EU Delegation in Islamabad has been working to enhance Pakistan’s exports through better utilization of GSP Plus, diversifying exports, investing in value-addition, using new technologies and IT solutions for better access to EU Market, besides bringing in the SMEs who are the backbone of any economy.
She informed that EU’s delegation in Islamabad would also like to set up a platform to promote EU-Pakistan business-to-business relations which could also help the SMEs in making good connections with businesses in EU and ultimately help the SMEs in Pakistan to also benefit from GSP Plus.
Earlier, President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, while welcoming EU’s Ambassador, pointed out that in addition to being a major trading partner of Pakistan, it was really encouraging to see that the EU has been supporting Pakistan’s integration into the global economy while Pakistan was committed to fortify enduring, future-oriented and comprehensive partnerships with EU for peace, development and prosperity.
EU has been the largest export destination for Pakistan, which stood at $8.4 billion, followed by USA at $5.93 billion and China at $2.02 billion in FY23, he noted and added “Pakistan’s exports to EU are dominated by textiles sector and in the last year, Pakistan’s total textile exports remained at $16.50 billion which was almost 60 percent of the total exports.”
Stressing the need of sustainable policies in Pakistan for economic recovery, exploiting the full potential of EU’s GSP plus and attracting Foreign Direct Investment, he said that Pakistan and EU should discuss ways to improve access of Pakistani products in the EU market, address trade barriers, foster collaboration, focus on export diversification, ensure smoother trade practices and compliance with international standards.
Iftikhar Sheikh also underscored the need for skill development and capacity building initiatives to enhance competitiveness of Pakistani businesses in the international market, besides taking steps for technology transfer, knowledge-sharing and encouraging public-private partnerships.
He also requested the EU Ambassador to arrange a business delegation for participation in KCCI’s My Karachi-Oasis of Harmony International Exhibition scheduled to be staged in August 2024, which always attracts immense participation of international and national exhibitors.
APP Services