LAHORE: The chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Mohsin Aziz said on Wednesday that the objections raised by Bangladesh about Pakistan on the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)-plus status in the European Union market are unfounded.
Earlier this week, Bangladesh raised concerns about the impact of the European measures, which would make it easier for Pakistan to export textiles to Europe. Bangladesh competes with Pakistan for textile sales to the European market.
Referring to Bangladesh’s reservations, the APTMA chairman also said that Pakistan could never be a threat to the Bangladesh textile industry in the EU market.
He termed the move “unfair” and said that Pakistan’s stance has always been to let objected let Bangladesh grow in the EU market. Bangladesh exports to the EU have reached $16 billion in the textile sector today from merely $2billion a few years back, he said.
Pakistan, he said, has peaked to a mere $1.5billion in a market of $80 billion in total.
Aziz also asserted that Bangladesh has developed strong inroads to the EU due to its Least Developed Country (LDC) status and therefore enjoys a favourable environment and market access.
He justified Pakistan’s qualification for market access to the EU on grounds of humanity, comparing it to Bangladesh after being hit severely hit by natural calamities and terrorism.
“Pakistan needs a special favour and a brotherly country like Bangladesh should not oppose it,” he said,
The APTMA chairman urged the federal government and the ministry of commerce to take up the issue in the larger interest of the country’s exports. He said this issue is more important than the MFN status to India and demands the immediate attention of policymakers.
A Bangladeshi official on Wednesday said that the complaint may be withdrawn.Bangladeshi officials also said that their Pakistani counterparts had “unofficially” raised the matter on the sidelines of an ongoing South Asian leaders’ summit in the Maldives.
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