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Pakistan's GSP Plus status under threat

Non-compliance with many conventions of European Union (EU) related to human rights and environment may cause, Pakistan to lose its GSP Plus status. Pakistan’s compliance of its conventions and imports are being reviewed by the EU and its officials are visiting Pakistani factories, without notifying the government. The EU Ambassador had a meeting with businessmen at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry KCCI.

A decline of orders from Pakistan is what prompted this move. Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi, acting president KCCI recently stated that trade facilitation would discontinue if the EU faces more compliance issues. In January, the EU would be having a review meeting.

In December 2013, Pakistan was granted GSP Plus status, which opened doors for huge opportunities. However, the country failed in getting full duty benefits for free exports. As per the status available until 2017, the country gets free market access to 96 per cent of the items exported to the EU markets. Provided that Pakistan implements 27 conventions of the EU. The government lacked in fulfilling the conventions, though the private sector was fulfilling many of them, said Kasumbi. He added that textile sector exports to the EU are about 80 per cent and comply with around 80 per cent conventions.

Capital punishment is prohibited according to the EU conventions, yet Pakistan has resumed it. However, continuity in exports show that EU may have ignored it, as Pakistan is fighting with terrorists who could emerge again if not punished. Besides, Pakistan has not utilised 10 per cent of its potential of exports to the EU.