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ISLAMABAD Aug 20: (APP): Current status of GSP-plus to Pakistan and its subsequent renewal this year for next three years, offers tremendous opportunities for Pakistani manufacturers and businessmen.

This was stated by Sajjad Haider Karim Member European Parliament, who was on a short visit to Pakistan.

He asked Pakistani manufacturers, businessmen to diversify their products and export more products to European markets.

Sajjad Haider Karim played an active role for grant of GSP+ status to Pakistan in European parliament. He formed and chairs the European Parliament’s Friends of Pakistan Group and in December 2013, and eight-year work came to fruition when the European Parliament voted to approve a vital concessionary trade status for Pakistan, known as ‘GSP plus’.

To a question on benefits of GSP+, Sajjad Karim said there are over seven thousands products which are covered under GSP+ status.

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He said Pakistani businessmen are already working on textile products while they should benefit by introducing other products also.

He added this preferential trade package for Pakistan’s exports to EU countries came into force in January 2014 and is already boosting trade, and economic development.

Sajjad Karim stressed for Business to Business (B2B) contact and said that GSP+ status was for ten years and Pakistan’s exporters and businessmen should have availed this opportunity.

European Parliamentarian Sajjad Haider, who was instrumental in getting this GSP+ status for Pakistan, showed satisfaction over efforts of Pakistan government for improving its export share in European market.

In reply to a question, he informed that India could not succeed in Free Trade Agreement because of glaring human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

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He says that European Union supports dialogue between Pakistan and India to resolve its outstanding issues including Kashmir.

To another question, he termed China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a game-changer for Pakistan and said EU fully supported the project and its successful completion would benefit business activities between this region and Europe and businesses all over the world would be benefiting with this gigantic economic project.

In recognition of his contribution, Sajjad Karim was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Technology and Management in Lahore for his work in securing the GSP+ deal and for services to the British Pakistani community.

In August 2014 Sajjad was also awarded the Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam, Pakistan’s highest national honour to non-resident Pakistanis, for his services to strengthen Pakistan/UK and Pakistan/EU relations.