EU Extends GSP Plus Status: A Call for Diversification in Pakistani Exports

In a significant development for Pakistan’s economic landscape, the European Union (EU) has extended the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP Plus) status for the country until 2027. The announcement was made by the Ambassador of the EU, Raina Kionka, during her visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) on January 9, 2024.

 

GSP Plus holds immense importance for Pakistan’s economy, reaching far beyond the textile sector, as emphasised by Ambassador Kionka. They urged the business community to explore and diversify exports, maximising the advantages offered by GSP Plus.

 

Over the last decade, the GSP Plus status has played a crucial role in boosting Pakistan’s exports to the EU by an impressive 108%. Simultaneously, EU imports from Pakistan have risen by 40%. Ambassador Kionka stated that the rollover of GSP Plus comes with no changes to the rules framework, ensuring continuity until 2027.

 

Identifying sectors like Gems and Jewelry, Tourism, handicrafts, and Auto Parts as untapped potentials under GSP Plus, the EU envoy stressed the need to diversify and enhance Pakistan’s exports to the European single market.

 

President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, welcomed the extension and acknowledged the EU’s role as a major trading partner. He emphasised the need for sustainable policies in Pakistan’s economic recovery journey to fully exploit and attract vital Foreign Direct Investment.

 

Ambassador Kionka further revealed that the EU delegation in Islamabad is keen to establish a platform promoting EU-Pakistan business-to-business relations, particularly benefiting small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The emphasis on value addition and technological integration underscores the EU’s commitment to enhancing Pakistan’s global economic standing.

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