EU mission in Pakistan to assess GSP+ conventions implementation

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A monitoring mission of the European Union’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday for an assessment of the effective implementation of 27 international conventions, a press release issued by the EU mission in Islamabad said.

Pakistan was granted GSP+ status in 2013, granting Pakistani products duty-free access to the European market.

The EU monitoring mission, comprising officials from the European External Action Service and the European Commission’s Directorates-General for Trade and for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, will make an assessment of the effective implementation of 27 international conventions that Pakistan is a signatory to.

During its stay in Islamabad, the mission will hold meetings with the government, the United Nations country team, International Labour Organisation, business and civil society representatives and other stakeholders.

The findings of the mission would be part of the next GSP+ report, which is due to be presented to the European Parliament and the Council towards the end of 2022,” the press release said.

The GSP+ is an entrenched trade and development policy instrument, in place since 1971. Pakistan is the major recipient of the GSP+ scheme for the last seven years. Under this status — set to expire on Dec 31, 2023 — there is zero per cent duty on several products.

The effective implementation of the conventions is a prerequisite to be eligible for exporting goods to EU markets at zero duties for 66 per cent of tariff lines, the EU press release said.

It elaborated that the conventions relate to human and labour rights, environmental protection, climate change and good governance. “The EU regularly sends monitoring missions to assess the situation on the ground and to subsequently reflect its evaluation in the publicly available report to the European Parliament and to the EU member states in the Council,” it stated, adding that “so far, three biennial reviews have been concluded in 2016, 2018 and 2020, respectively”.

 

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