VIP status: Pakistan added to EU trade preference list

Published: June 16, 2012
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STRINGENT REGIME: 176
was the number of countries
that enjoy preferential access
to EU markets. 75 is the decreased number of countries that enjoy
preferential access to EU
markets after the newly
announced rules.

STRINGENT REGIME: 176 was the number of countries that enjoy preferential access to EU markets. 75 is the decreased number of countries that enjoy preferential access to EU markets after the newly announced rules.

The European Parliament’s plan of doing more “for poorer countries” has opened trade gates for three new countries including Pakistan.

The new rules will enable Pakistan, Philippines and Ukraine to apply for zero duty access on their exports to the EU under the “GSP+” incentive scheme, according to a Parliament statement.

“The new EU trade scheme is more predictable and more generous to countries that deserve it,” said British Conservative MEP and Legal Affairs spokesperson, Sajjad Karim. Pakistan will be allowed to apply for zero duty access if they agree to abide by the 27 international conventions in the field of human rights.

The new rules will reduce the number of countries that enjoy preferential access to EU markets from 176 to around 75. It will also reduce the total value of imports that qualify for EU preferences from 60 billion euros in 2009 to about 37.7 billion euros in 2014.

The updated generalised system of preferences (GSP), the Parliament informed, removes tariff preferences, such as reduced or zero duties, for EU imports from countries where per capita income has exceeded US 4,000 for four years. This rule ousted Russia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia from the beneficiaries list and will now have compete on an equal footing with the EU in world markets. Latin American countries Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay remained out of the benefitting list.

The GSP plus scheme will contribute to the promotion of human rights, democracy and freedom of speech in the developing world, added Karim who is also Chairman of the European Parliament Friends of Pakistan Group.

“The European Parliament Friends of Pakistan group has been campaigning to increase the threshold of the GSP+ scheme to allow Pakistan to enjoy more trade with the EU.”

He also dismissed the few MEPs who called for Pakistan not to be included in the trade scheme in a European Parliament debate on Monday.

“The clear long-term strategy is for the EU and Pakistan to cooperate on a wide range of issues including trade, security and policy. The EU-Pakistan Five Year Engagement Plan and the recent successful launch of the first Strategic Dialogue in Islamabad this month with Baroness Ashton is clear evidence of that,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Jun 16, 2012 - 9:12AM

    This is good news indeed!

    As Pakistan embarks on a new course in trade, it’s important for its leadership to recognize the wide gap between the theory and practice of the “Washington Consensus” to effectively safeguard its economy, domestic industries and jobs for Pakistanis to develop and prosper in the 21st century.

    http://www.riazhaq.com/2012/03/should-pakistan-ignore-washington.html

    Recommend

  • Khalid Rao
    Jun 16, 2012 - 3:02PM

    It is really encouraging news for Pakistan export and the economy of our country. I feel that there is good possibility to prosper the trade and we must use this facility very wisely.

    We should have very strict rules & regulations of QC & QA of our exportable products.
    When the society and people of middle class prosper you have no crime no terrorist
    everybody work.

    Recommend

  • Humayun
    Jun 16, 2012 - 8:54PM

    Instead of begging for and relying on the trade concessions, would it not be a better option to address tax harrasment, law & order, infrastrucre development, human capital development, uninterrupted utilities supply….?

    Recommend

  • ayesha_khan
    Jun 17, 2012 - 12:35AM

    @Riaz Haq: The blog you attached and your reference to Washington consensus have nothing to do with this article.

    Also the human rights requirements that Europe talks about include religious freedom, women’s rights etc. which Pakistan does not have any hope of complying with in the short to medium term.

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  • Knotty
    Jun 17, 2012 - 1:51AM

    Very good news..
    .
    Let’s see who gets jealous ;P

    Recommend

  • ali islam
    Jun 17, 2012 - 9:45AM

    What human rights are they talking about Riaz Haq? Will we allow religious freedom where by we allow citizens to choose any religion they want?

    Recommend

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