ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has welcomed the European Parliament’s International Trade (INTA) Committee decision that voted to approve continuity of preferential duties for Pakistan on exports for the next two years under Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) scheme.
In a statement issued here on Wednesday, PTEA Chairman Shaiq Jawed termed the approval from EU’s committee for International Trade as a good sign for textile exporters and the economy as well.
He appreciated the government’s progress in promoting good governance and sustainable development that helped to bring positive results of the second review of EU’s preferential duties facility.
The PTEA chairman said, “GSP plus incentives helped Pakistan to build up its capacity to become more effective and competitive partner in international economics by opening new avenues of opportunities. With this facility, not only Pakistan’s market share has increased but exports to EU have also jumped from 4.54 billion Euro in 2013 to 6.29 billion Euro.”
He said that GSP plus status had provided Pakistan with an opportunity to improve its relations with EU in terms of not only trade but also economic and political relations. This had contributed to the reduction of poverty and promotion of sustainable development and good governance by giving a boost to the trading industry, he added.
Terming textile export sector as a major beneficiary of duty waiver facility, Shaiq Jawed said that overall textile exports surged to 4.87 billion euro in 2016 from 3.14 billion Euro in 2013, which represent an increase of 54.8 per cent. Of these exports of textile apparel and knitwear have grown from 1.4 billion euro to 2.47 billion euros in 2016, indicating an increase of 76.4 per cent. The second biggest share went to home textiles which surged to 1.56 billion euros from 980 million euros, representing an almost growth of 60 per cent. The export of cotton, fabric and yarn also increased from 739 million euros to 805 million euros increasing by 9 per cent.
Vice Chairman Ammar Saeed was of the view that country desperately needs concessional markets to narrow its ballooning trade deficit, which has surged 24.18 per cent to $ 21.54 billion in first seven months of the current fiscal year. EU is Pakistan’s single largest trade partner with bilateral trade exceeding 7.5 billion euros; however, there is a need to work out a methodology to further increase this trade activity.