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EU Demands Implementation Of 27 Conventions In Pakistan Before GSP+ Review

  • The present GSP Plus status of Pakistan will be reviewed in December 2023.
  • According to the EU ambassador, more labour and human rights treaties should be implemented.
  • recognises the efforts of clothing manufacturers and advocates for product variety

As Pakistan’s current GSP plus status is set to be evaluated in December 2023, EU Ambassador Dr. Riina Kionka has called for the 27 labour and human rights agreements to be fully implemented.

According to the envoy, further labour and human rights conventions would be incorporated for implementation. Dr. Kionka inspected a number of garment manufacturing facilities with other members of the executive committee of the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA).

She applauded their efforts and urged increased product diversity and value addition in order to fully realise the potential of market access for the countries covered by the present GSP plus framework.

The role of small and medium-sized firms in economic growth, technical education, skill development, EU support for Pakistan in the TVET sector, and women’s advancement in the skilled workforce were later discussed in depth by both sides.

PRGMEA and the EU have committed to working on programmes that help female entrepreneurs, improved labour legislation, and the SME sector, in addition to other projects.

The ambassador discussed many proposals for assisting the SME industry, with a focus on establishing ties within the EU to extend the products’ markets.

Dr. Kionka claims that the EU accounts for roughly one-third of all Pakistani exports, making it the country’s largest export market. She asserted that by collaborating with PRGMEA, the EU might assist Pakistan in increasing its exports and strengthening its industry.

The ambassador stated that her embassy would contact PRGMEA to promote bilateral ties and expressed gratitude for PRGMEA’s assistance to the development of industrial operations in the area.

The Central Chairman of the PRGMEA, Mubashar Naseer Butt, and the Zonal Chairman, Waseem Akhtar Khan, both remarked that Pakistan placed a great emphasis on its relationship with the EU as one of its major trading partners.

Butt said that GSP + has expanded bilateral trade between the EU and Pakistan, which will be worth €12.2 billion in 2021, up from €6.9 billion now, or a 78% rise.

The strategy complements the government’s social objectives. Because of improved market access, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for Pakistan’s exports to the EU increased to 7% in the post-GSP plus era, up from 4% in the five years preceding GSP.

According to the zonal chairman of PRGMEA, the GSP plus status’ tariff-free access to the world’s largest textile and apparel market provided a solid basis and an incentive system to stimulate further sector and national reforms.

Similarly, the EU benefits from a sustainable, ethical, and more traceable textile value chain, as well as a consistent, cost-effective supply of textiles to EU enterprises and consumers. The EU-Pakistan GSP+ deal has the ability to alter both Pakistan’s economy and society while attaining EU goals, he added.

Butt said that Pakistan’s textile and garment sector is the engine propelling the country’s economy, accounting for more than 60% of exports and 8.5% of GDP while accounting for 46% of manufacturing.

Readymade garment exports climbed by 28.75 percent for fiscal year 2021-2022, hitting $3.9 billion, up from $3.03 billion the previous year. In the whole textile supply chain, the value-added garment industry was the primary tax payer and the largest employer.

Former PRGMEA chair Sajid Saleem Minhas, Dr. Mufeez ul Islam, Ahmad Hanif, Irfan Khurshid, Muhammad Ali, and Hina Asif were also in attendance.

originally appeared in The News

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