Apparel forum concerned over GSP Plus status

Says fresh warnings are making industry apprehensive.


Our Correspondent June 21, 2015
EU’s warning on the non-effective implementation of the 27 international conventions under the GSP plus is alarming for the textile industry. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Expressing concern regarding the future of the country’s textile sector, Pakistan Apparel Forum Chairman Muhammad Jawed Bilwani has shown concerns our the European Union’s (EU) warning on the non-effective implementation of the international convention – a requirement under the GSP Plus status.

He said that 150 people have been executed in Pakistan since December 2014 following the government’s decision of lifting the moratorium on executions that was in place since 2008 and this represents a major step backwards in Pakistan’s record on human rights.

It is alarming that despite the grant of GSP Plus status, textile exports have declined by 1.7% in the first 11 months (July-May) of fiscal year 2014-15 compared to the same period of last year.

“If the EU did not grant GSP Plus status to Pakistan, textile exports would have faced a massive decline of 13.1%, said Bilwani. According to Bilwani, the costs of inputs such as gas, electricity and water are much higher than that of other competing countries of the region which has made it impossible for the textile industry to compete equally.

On the other hand, EU’s warning on the non-effective implementation of the 27 international conventions under the GSP plus is alarming for the textile industry.

“In case the EU withdraws duty concessions under the GSP Plus scheme, it will further hit Pakistan’s textile exports,” he added.

Bilwani urged the government to pay heed to such adverse factors faced by the textile exporters and reduce the costs of inputs in comparison to neighbouring competing countries.

He asked the government to revive the “zero rated regime” or the “no payment no refund” for exports.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2015.

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