EU’s GSP + review mission scheduled for next month

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ISLAMABAD:

A European Union Generalized Preferences-Plus (GSP +) mission will visit Pakistan next month, as the fourth biennial review (2020-2021) of the EU incentive is underway, a announced Wednesday the Ministry of Commerce.

The EU’s “Special Incentive Arrangement for Good Governance and Sustainable Development” is a key mechanism to improve economic relations between Pakistan and the continental bloc, under which Pakistan enjoys zero-rate tariff preferences on almost 91% of tariff lines to the EU market.

On September 22, the EU published a new legislative proposal for the SPG + system, adding 5 additional conventions to the 27 UN conventions. This means that now all countries, including Pakistan, will have to comply with 32 international conventions.

The EU conducts the review every two years to ensure the commitment of beneficiary countries to effectively implement UN conventions. So far, three biennial reviews have been successfully concluded in 2016, 2018 and 2020, respectively.

According to the ministry statement, Pakistan responded to questions for the biennial review of the GSP +. It is believed that the review will be completed thanks to the positive actions of the government. The ministry said the five new international conventions were in line with the government’s priorities.

Read Pakistan does not benefit from a general extension of the GSP Plus

The SPG + incentive provides many export-oriented Pakistani products including clothing, bed linen, terry towels, hosiery, leather, sporting and surgical goods, etc., with duty-free access. rights to the EU market. Pakistan exports more to EU member countries than any other country in the world.

“The EU is our biggest export partner and we have excellent relations with all EU Member States. If you see our exports by country, EU member countries will be in the top 10 export destinations, ”Razak Dawood, Prime Minister’s trade adviser, said in the statement.

“While the fourth biennial review of the SPG + incentive is currently underway, I am confident that due to the government’s positive initiatives it will be completed. The five new international conventions of the new SPG scheme are in line with the government’s priorities, ”he added.

The adviser pointed out that the government has already taken measures to guarantee labor rights, children’s rights and the rights of people with disabilities. “I can assure that the Pakistani government is already committed to the cause.”

Regarding the Paris Agreement on climate change, Dawood said Pakistan has joined the international community in celebrating “World Environment Day 2021”, as a global host on June 5, which has given the official launch of the ‘United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030’.

He added that the legislative proposal for the new GSP scheme would be submitted to the European Council and Parliament. Once the European Council and Parliament adopt the new scheme, Pakistan will need to reapply for the new GSP scheme and implement all 32 conventions.


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