KARACHI: Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has said that industries would have to prepare for compliance with 27 European Union conventions signed by the government, in order to reap the benefits of the GSP Plus status.
Speaking at a meeting at the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) here on Friday, Sarwar stressed that the preferential trade status had been won after intense lobbying and efforts of the government.
“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had sent me to Europe for seeking support of EU member states at a juncture when we were facing fierce opposition from some nations,” he said.
Sarwar recalled that he had lobbied 100 parliament members of the EU to win their support in Pakistan’s favour and even eight delegates from France also voted for Pakistan.
“It is now up to the industry to gain maximum benefit from the GSP Plus,” he remarked.
Sarwar also announced that the Pakistan-EU Business Forum would be established that would help capitalise on the opportunities provided by the GSP Plus.
Earlier, Aptma Chairman Yasin Siddik asked exporters to step up textile exports to $26 billion from existing $13 billion over the next five years.
He believed that the preferential market access to EU countries would be a helping hand to Pakistan’s economy and as a result the textile industry would be able to boost exports to new markets and earn foreign exchange.
Exports of textiles, which had gone up to $14 billion in fiscal year 2010-11, dropped to $13.1 billion in 2012-13.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2013.
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