Benefits of GSP Plus status not realized: FPCCI

Amanullah Khan

Karachi—President FPCCI Abdul Rauf Alam has emphasized on materialization of the benefits of GSP Plus granted by European Union in January 2014 and it was expected that our exports to EU countries will increase by US $ 2 billion per annum. It was clearly observed that the attitude of EU member countries was encouraging and favourable for Pakistani products, he added. He said that Pakistan’s export to European countries is around US $ 6.84 billion in 2014-15 which was US $ 5.67 billion in the year 2012-13 preceding to the grant of GSP Plus status.
He said that these statistics indicates that benefits of GSP Plus has not been realized due to domestic problems including energy crises and law & order situation and we could not produced the commodities to enhance our exports at the competitive prices. Rauf Alam further emphasized that before revision and ratification of GSP Plus status by European Union for next consecutive period, we will have to prepare ourselves to prove competitiveness and ability to export. He mentioned that there are two important tasks at the moment for exporters and economic policy makers, firstly to improve competitiveness by controlling our domestic issues including energy crisis due to which more than 45% of the installed industrial capacity in Pakistan is idle which a major cause of higher per unit cost and low productivity.
The second important task belongs to implementation of the conditions which are essential for getting continuation of GSP Plus status from EU, he added. He further said that implementation of these conditions are also important for social economy of Pakistan as these conditions belong to the environment, poverty reduction and provision of healthy environment to the workers. Rauf Alam informed that he has appointed Gulzar Firoz as incharge GSP Plus Desk at FPCCI who has enough experience in trade with European countries and he is also heading the FPCCI’s Standing Committee on Environment. On this occasion, Gulzar Firoz stressed on creating awareness about GSP Plus scheme of EU in the concerned quarters and he mentioned that in the end of March FPCCI will organize a seminar on implementation and benefits of GSP Plus. The relevant exporters and policy makers from public sector will participate in the seminar.

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