EU offers more concessions

Staff Reporter

IslamabadóThe European Union has offered three more items for their inclusion in the earlier announced seven items for tariff rated quotas (TRQs) under a trade package offering duty and tariff concessions for Pakistan.

ďEthyl alcohol, woven fabric, and toilet linen will be included in the list of earlier selected seven items for tariff rated quotas likely to be announced this year,Ē said an official.

The earlier offered TRQs on the products of textile and footwear will have a financial impact of less than $30 million and the products on which lower tariffs are being offered are menís trousers, pyjamas, baby garments, womenís pyjamas and three footwear products.

ďIf the deal goes through in June, it is good, otherwise, we will have to wait till August or late months, as there are vacations (in the) European Commission (office) in July,Ē the same official said.

The ministry would soon dispatch the reply to this proposal through Pakistanís mission in Brussels to be submitted with European Union for further action. However, the official said that it was not Pakistanís preference to bring the earlier package, covering 75 items, into this TRQ. He refused to give any further details about the issue.

Pakistan managed to persuade India in the recent visit of the commerce minister to support the EUís package at WTO. India had earlier blocked the package. The EUís original plan was unveiled in October 2010, offering lower tariffs on 75 Pakistani products. It would have boosted Pakistanís exports by at least 100 million euros.

The World Trade Organization rules say a deal must be offered to all trade partners. For offering concessions exclusively to Pakistan, the EU needs to get all WTO membersí support.

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