Parliamentary Secretary for Finance and Economic Affairs Rana Muhammad Afzal, during his visit to the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) office on Saturday, said the GSP Plus status would prove to be of immense worth for the textile manufacturers and exporters.
“Pakistan will now have duty-free access to 27 European countries,” he said, adding it would now enjoy a level playing field with regional competitors.
He said the government was committed to making all-out efforts to exploit the duty-free market access granted by the European Union.
He was of the view that the GSP Plus status had given a ray of hope to the country, which could offset the losses Pakistan had suffered in the past. Pakistan has been provided with a golden opportunity to improve its economic conditions by effectively utilising the duty-free facility, he suggested.
Speaking about the government’s role in the economic development agenda, he said easy and greater access to European markets was its top-most priority, which had been achieved after strenuous efforts.
“Approval of the GSP Plus status will enable Pakistan to export an additional $1 billion worth of products to the European markets,” Afzal said, adding the textile industry would earn yearly profits worth billions of rupees.
He said the increase in exports will not only support economic growth but will also generate employment opportunities.
He assured the businessmen of efforts for immediate payment of pending refund claims of textile exporters as they were facing a financial crunch owing to this problem.
PTEA Chairman Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood, while terming the GSP Plus status a milestone, highlighted the difficulties faced by the industry, in which lack of finance was a major hurdle to reaping the benefits of the GSP Plus.
“Textile exporters are stuck in the local tax, sales tax and federal excise duty refund regimes, which are creating a severe financial crunch,” he said, adding if these amounts are released, exporters could deploy the capital for expanding their business, which in turn will increase the country’s export earnings.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2013.
Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.