EU delegation launches forum to facilitate Pakistani SMEs, boost trade

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Pakistan has to meet certain conditions to re-enter GSP+ after 2023

Ijaz Kakakhel
Islamabad

The current GSP+ regulation expires at the end of 2023 and Pakistan will carry on with the present regime as long as it continues to demonstrate its tangible commitment to the 27 international conventions, said European Union (EU) Ambassador to Pakistan, Androulla Kaminara.

“The last report that the EU made public in February on GSP+ progress of Pakistan identified both the progress in some areas but also some areas for which there was very little progress as well as a few areas that backtracking was seen.

It is hugely important to continue progress and to address the concerns raised in order not to have any negative consequences before end of 2023”, said EU Ambassador during media talks after the launch of EU Pakistan Forum for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

She said that the current GSP+ regulation expires By December 2023 and in any case – and for all countries under this regime is only available until end of 2023.

She further said that currently a lot of work is being carried out in Brussels in order to draft the proposal for a new, successor trade regime which will be in place from 2024.

“This new regulation is being finalized. The new regime will be a continuation as regards to the basic principles of GSP+ with the 27 Convention and possibly add some additional ones.

However, it is important to know that if Pakistan – or any other country for that matter wishes to avail itself of the benefits of new regime – it will have to re-apply again under the new system, an exercise which signifies heightened scrutiny by the European Institutions” said the EU Ambassador, adding that together the benefit of GSP+ can be expanded and identify new beneficiaries and new sectors to lead to more mutual benefit for both Pakistan and the EU.

There were some issues relating to Pakistan for entering in to next GSP+ status and the government of Pakistan has to satisfy over freedom of press, forced disappearance and some others.

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