Belgian envoy warns of new GSP+ regulations

Urges businessmen to make political authorities aware of applying for new regulation

Our Correspondent May 21, 2024
EU’s GSP Plus for Pakistan. PHOTO: FILE


Belgian Ambassador Charles Delogne has stated that although the EU’s GSP Plus for Pakistan has been extended for another four years up to 2027, a new regulation of GSP Plus will come into force much earlier. Hence, Pakistan’s business community must make political authorities aware that Pakistan will have to apply for the new regulation under GSP+.

Speaking at a meeting during his farewell visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the Belgian envoy pointed out that GSP+ was more than just an agreement signed by the EU with those countries perceived as likeminded on certain issues, including human rights, labour rights, and the environment. This is extremely important for a country like Pakistan, which suffers greatly from the negative consequences of climate change, he said according to a statement issued by KCCI on Monday.

The Belgian envoy highlighted that Pakistan has been making good use of the GSP+ agreement, making the EU the main trade partner of Pakistan.

He stated, “In 2023, bilateral trade between Belgium and Pakistan remained balanced, which is positive as Belgium does not contribute to the payment crises faced by Pakistan. Being a small country, foreign trade is vital for Belgium. The Belgian economy relies on importing goods, adding maximum value through transformation, and then exporting them. This is why foreign trade and free trade are essential for Belgium.”

Earlier, President of KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh also stressed the need to learn from and benefit from Belgian experience in the ports and shipping sector, which would help Pakistan enhance its port capacity through technological advancements, infrastructure improvements, and increased efficiency.

“To reduce trade barriers, there is a need to simplify customs procedures, enhance ease of doing business, and facilitate Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to boost trade,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2024.

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