Pakistans trade status is high on the EU agenda this week

Pakistan's trade status is high on the EU agenda this week

EU foreign ministers have asked Karel De Gucht, the European commissioner for trade, to prepare a scheme to grant extraordinary trade concessions to Pakistan.

The concessions could be adopted by EU leaders meeting in Brussels this week (16 September).

The proposed trade preferences are likely to cover 13 textile and clothing products including cotton and man-made fibers yarn, fabrics and garments, and could be worth up to EUR230m (US$298.4m) in reduced tariffs.

Pakistan has been asking for a quick access to the EU’s zero-duty GSP+ scheme of trade preferences but has failed to meet the standards stipulated by the scheme. A review is now under way of the criteria for GSP+ qualification too, which may allow Pakistan to qualify for the scheme.

Several EU states including Italy, Portugal, and Poland, whose textile industries fear Pakistani competition, are reluctant to grant trade preferences.

Gohar Ejaz, chairman of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), told just-style that the trade concessions would help Pakistan economy to recover after the devastating floods in the country that hit every sector of the economy.