Minister for Commerce and Textile Industry Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan informed Senate that Generalized System of Preference Plus (GSP Plus) status given by the EU will help increase Pakistan’s exports $1 billion annually. In a policy statement on the floor of the house, the minister said that gaining access to EU markets was a collective effort of the incumbent and the previous governments of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
He said that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif took special interest in securing the GSP plus status, for which he specially invited EU ambassadors to Pakistan at luncheon, which helped in lobbying for this great opportunity. Besides, Governor Punjab Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar and Sajjad Tareen used their clout in EU countries to make GSP Plus status a reality, which will strengthen Pakistan’s economy with the creation of more jobs in thousands.
He said that the opportunity was now a challenge for the government and exporters to enhance their export products, adding the export basket of the country was too small which needed diversification. The minister called upon the exporters to grab the opportunity, saying GSP Plus is a great development towards strengthening the country by trade and not aid. The government would encourage the industrialists and exporters to take benefit of the scheme, he said, adding textile manufacturers could particularly exploit the scheme.
The European Commission and member countries of the EU, he added, played a pivotal role at every step for adoption of the single delegated act. “We’ve now been able to get duty-free access to the EU markets after winning GSP Plus status with an impressive count of votes and now this is the time we must prove ourselves by benefiting from the opportunity,” he maintained.