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Pakistan wants action on GSP Plus

Pakistan wants to formulate an aggressive policy for export of readymade garments and for attaining maximum benefits under the GSP Plus status. The European Union granted duty free access to Pakistani made-ups under the Generalised System of Preference Plus status in January this year. Under this scheme Pakistan's textile products can be exported duty-free or on a preferential duty basis for the next tenyears.

Exporters want the government to relax import duties blocking access to raw materials, especially artificial fiber. They say this relaxation will enable them to diversify product lines so that they can take full advantage of the facility. They also want water and energy supplies to be improved so that an increase in demand through GAP Plus can be met.

Pakistan has effectively utilized only a handful of the 73 textile categories that have been given duty-free access. The country has weak domestic supplies of raw materials, except cotton, with high duties on inputs forcing the Pakistan garment industry to produce low-value-added garments. The industry feels the removal of duties of up to 11 per cent on clothing exports would allow the country’s products to be more competitive in the EU market.

The local garment industry comprises small to medium-sized units. Such manufacturers are unable to import the raw material required to diversify their product lines because of their small scale.


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