BRUSSELS: The European Parliament on Thursday granted GSP Plus (Generalised Scheme of Preferences) status to Pakistan with 406 votes in favor, allowing duty-free to Pakistani products to the European Union countries.
The single delegated act will come into effect from January 1, 2014 and it will remain till 2017.
It is expected that GPS Plus status will boost country’s exports, help revive the economy by creating more jobs and enable the government to spend more on education, welfare and social services.
Moreover, the GSP Plus status will prove to be of great benefit to Pakistan’s textile manufacturers and exporters who will now have access to 27 European countries without having to pay duties.
Textile exports had been declining in Pakistan, as manufacturers and exporters were finding it hard to compete with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who already had duty-free access to European markets.
The International trading community of European Parliament had already approved the act aimed at giving greater trade access to 10 countries, including Pakistan under the GSP Plus. Other countries were Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Georgia, Mongolia, Paraguay and Peru.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated the nation on award of GSP Plus status and said that award of GSP Plus status to Pakistan shows confidence of the international markets in the excellent quality of its products.
The prime minister said that access to European markets was the government’s top most priority as part of the economic development agenda.
Sharif said that the status will enable Pakistan to export its products worth more than one billion US dollars to the international markets. Only the textile industry will earn profits of more than one trillion rupees per year.
The premier said that increase in exports will resultantly facilitate in economic growth and help in generation of millions of additional employments.