GSP Plus: EU vote clears Pakistan's path for duty-free access to European markets

Published: November 6, 2013
New status has the potential to create one million new jobs besides expanding export base. PHOTO: FILE

New status has the potential to create one million new jobs besides expanding export base. PHOTO: FILE

The European Union on Tuesday thumbed up Pakistan’s request for duty-free access to European markets, paving way for the country’s acquisition of the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus status.

The Ministry of Commerce tweeted that the EU Parliament’s International Trade Committee had voted 17-12-1 in favour of Pakistan’s inclusion:

According to the ministry, Pakistan may now enter the GSP+ club from January 1, 2014, a prospect likely to create one million new Pakistani jobs.

The European parliament was considering the GSP+ package for 10 developing countries in all.

The GSP Plus is granted to those countries that ratify and implement international conventions relating to human and labour rights, environment and good governance. The EU has been closely watching Pakistan’s human rights record and also fiercely opposes the death penalty.

Exporters from various industries in Pakistan including textile were anxiously hoping for access to European markets, which promises huge potential for multiplying the country’s current exports.

Industrialist and former president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce Majyd Aziz tweeted in this regard:

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Indi.pendent
    Nov 6, 2013 - 1:05AM

    Acoording to PakCommerceMinistry tweet “Probable grant of European Union’s GSP+ to Pakistan is likely to create a million jobs for Pakistani youth & boost exports by $500 million”.
    This is really minuscule, the increase should be at least 6-8 billion USD. Any good realistic figure?


  • Junaid
    Nov 6, 2013 - 1:29AM

    Who else is in the GSP+ group


  • Kamran (Berlin)
    Nov 6, 2013 - 1:44AM

    Good news! I hope the government tries to accommodate the export businesses and factories by offering lower to no power cuts and secure environment inshaAllah.


  • Asad Khan
    Nov 6, 2013 - 1:51AM

    …good, make a most out of it, register Pak brands in EU market.


  • unbelievable
    Nov 6, 2013 - 2:06AM

    Impact all relative to what happens with your major competition – if India, Bangladesh and China get same treatment then how’s that going to help create jobs.


  • Hedgefunder
    Nov 6, 2013 - 2:20AM

    Learn to Deliver what you Promise on Time First !
    Pakistan does not have reputation for delivery nor quality on time !
    Sort your Energy Problems out first too, as it may help exporters not to cut corners to make fast buck and lose long term relations with purchasers.


  • shah
    Nov 6, 2013 - 4:15AM

    This will be withdrawn if NATO supplies are blocked, as Imran Khan wants.


  • gdf
    Nov 6, 2013 - 4:45AM

    This only happens when India and Bangladesh stop opposing it in WHO and Pakistan will give India MFN status till dec 2012( MFN status will help both countries but more to Pakistan) but Pakistan betrayed India and has not fulfill its commitment as they not want to do with Iran gas pipeline.

    Which will only reduce Pakistan credibility in a long run.


  • Toba Alu
    Nov 6, 2013 - 5:10AM

    EU diplomats welcome to the world of bonded labour, death penalty (only over 13000 on death row) and human rights violations (minority rights, …..).


  • Rex Minor
    Nov 6, 2013 - 5:45AM

    This is the signal for the investors to produce labour intensive products in Pakstan for local consumtion as well as for exports to European markets.

    Rex Minor


  • Xnain
    Nov 6, 2013 - 10:17AM

    Good joke just like a typical hedge fund.


  • Mughees
    Nov 6, 2013 - 3:06PM

    It is indeed a great news for the entire Textile sector of Pakistan and if Govt can improvise on the issues of electricity and gas then nothing can stop Pakistan to make the current exports double to its actual figure. Hope Govt and people of Pakistan realizes the importance of its industry and take crucial decisions in utilizing this GSP opportunity. Optimism is the key to growth and success.


  • John
    Nov 6, 2013 - 3:58PM

    Good news for Pakistan.
    However, I was just pondering over how Pakistan needs to allow drones to kill terrorists to get US aid and loans, but cannot execute its own criminals to stay in the GSP Plus regime. The irony of it all…Recommend

  • Saleem Niazi
    Nov 6, 2013 - 4:09PM

    @Hedgefunder: This is a real mile stone for Pakistan textile sector as earlier we were fighting against all odds and this going to be real breeze for them. I don’t know your experience of working in Pakistan but certainly there are suppliers who can cater by delivering the right product at the right price and at the right time.

    Energy crisis have significantly improved the medium to big suppliers have their own power generation.


  • Aamir Hussain Burhani Trade
    Nov 6, 2013 - 4:31PM

    This is the great News for us and we will be Boom Boom in all the EU countries.


  • np
    Nov 7, 2013 - 4:53AM

    The only place this news has been reported is Pakistani media. Google search does not show any such news in European media or the media of the 9 other countries similarly approved for GSP plus.

    Is there a reliable source outside Pakistan that confirms this information?


  • shahid nawaz
    Nov 7, 2013 - 5:47PM

    at least good news to hear. good for pakistan and pakistanis. let us reshape our priorities for utilization of gas and electricity. affordable energy costs would make our products competitive in the world market. Recommend

  • Muslim Leaguer
    Nov 9, 2013 - 12:03PM

    The EU vote came after the convincing speech of Governor Punjab, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar at the European Parliament.
    Good choice made by PMLN. Bravo!!


  • tamseela
    Dec 7, 2013 - 12:58PM

    Appeal :for the kind attention of Mr shahbaz sharif and CH. mohd sarwar.

    Please announce the gas continuity without fail in textile sector before the announcement of GSP plus status for pakistann…it will make impact on eu Pakistani Govt is ready to support its textile industry to grab the opportunities and enjoy the benefits of gsp plus status.

    Tamseela hassan.


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