No threat to Pakistan’s GSP plus status: Dawood

Says plan to get facility extended further, also held talks with PM


Shahram Haq August 29, 2021
PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE:

Textile exporters should not pay attention to rumours regarding Pakistan’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) status as the country will continue to benefit under this scheme, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood.

Talking to the media on the sidelines of an event on Saturday, he said, “There were talks of taking back GSP plus facility from Pakistan by European Union, I assure you that nothing is going to happen as we have met with the prime minister on this issue.

The adviser said that Pakistan still has two years to benefit from this scheme. “The country has two years to get benefit and we are planning to extend this facility for further two years, so do not pay attention to rumours. Everything is going according to the plan.”

Talking about high inflation, Dawood said that Pakistan is not the only country which has been hit by this issue. “Globally, commodity prices are at their peak, however, a couple of things we never saw were the sharp rise in shipping prices and the booking of containers, which previously were almost free of cost.”

Talking about trade with Afghanistan and India, the adviser said that the good thing is that we are still trading with Afghanistan. “We are not trading with India right now and we should concentrate on our western borders. Once things get streamlined, only then we may look towards our eastern boarders in terms of trade.”

Dawood was attending the inaugural ceremony of establishing the Pakistan Shoe Design Hub (PSDH) in Lahore. Sharing his views on the first ever Pakistan design hub and the footwear sector, the adviser said that with such initiative our footwear sector will grow further. He added that unfortunately in the past 10 years we did not pay attention in this particular sector.

Read Pakistan ups efforts on GSP plus

“We are now planning for the next three years to boost this industry,” he said, adding that some duties have been curtailed and some will be cut further to make this sector an export base industry.

He added that old culture was to import everything, this will not happen now and we will replicate our model of Mobile Phone Manufacturing Policy in footwear sector. “Pakistan has successfully started export of mobile phones, which previously were 100% imported in the country, we will make policy for the footwear sector with an aim of capturing greater share in the global footwear market.”

Under the PSDH initiative, computer aided footwear designing courses with latest technology will be conducted regularly to develop the industry and individual entrepreneurs so they are able to consolidate their position in the global scenario.

Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan Footwear Manufacturers Association (PFMA) Chairman Imran Malik said that by offering concessional regularity policies and tax relief, the industry is on the fast track of growth during last three years.

The PFMA chairman pointed out that the industry has witnessed 63% increase in its membership, 92% reduction in shoe import, 22% increase in export in the last three years alone.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2021.

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