Sat, 23 Oct 2021

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 26 (ANI): European Union's Ambassador to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara has said that Pakistan will have to redouble its efforts, to turn into reality the international conventions it has signed up for, to qualify for Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) plus scheme after the year 2023.

Commenting on Pakistan's position in the current GSP scheme and prospects for joining the new scheme, Kaminara said, "In order to maintain the trade preferences under GSP beyond 2023, Pakistan will have to redouble its efforts to turn the international conventions it signed up to into reality on the ground," reported Dawn.

The European Commission has adopted a legislative proposal for 10 years (2024-34) to offer a new European Union Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) to remove or reduce duties on the import of products to promote sustainable development in low-income countries.

Pakistan is the largest beneficiary of the current GSP plus scheme since 2014 -- zero per cent duty on several hundred products under the current regulation, which will expire on Dec 31, 2023, and to which the new proposal will become the successor.

The European Parliament and the Council will now discuss the new proposal. Once adopted by them, the new GSP regulation will apply from Jan 1, 2024.

The EU's GSP is a well-established trade and development policy instrument, which has been in place since 1971. The European Commission in Islamabad released on Friday details of the new legislation on GSP.

Under the current GSP system, which will end in 2023, the European Commission is continuously monitoring the progress made by beneficiary countries like Pakistan towards the implementation of 27 international conventions, reported Dawn.

In the last monitoring reports, European Commission expressed concerns over human rights, child labour, torture, media freedom and access to justice, and enforced disappearances amongst others.

To make the case to be eligible under the new GSP system, the envoy said, Pakistan, like any other potential beneficiary country, would have to demonstrate tangible progress to convince EU parliamentarians and member state governments, reported Dawn.

For availing the GSP plus incentives, it is mandatory for the vulnerable low- and lower-middle-income countries to implement 27 international conventions (32 in the new proposal), related to human rights, labour rights, protection of the environment and climate and good governance to benefit from this arrangement. (ANI)

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