Britain supports Pakistan on ‘Generalised System of Preferences Plus’

LAHORE: UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Green has said that European Parliament has welcomed the extension of GSP Plus status to Pakistan.

“We strongly support the European Commission’s proposal to extend GSP Plus eligibility to Pakistan. Negotiations are ongoing and we are pleased that the EU Parliament’s draft report has welcomed the extension of GSP Plus.” Lord Green, while addressing the members of Karachi School for Business & Leadership, observed that there is further potential for developing bilateral trade as UK consumers become more aware of what Pakistan has to offer.

He said that UK exports to Pakistan have shown double-digit growth over the last year while Pakistan’s exports to the UK rose by 17 per cent in the months from January to October, with particularly strong growth in textiles, he added. “The UK is the top destination in Europe for exports from Pakistan. It is also the largest European investor in Pakistan. Of the international businesses operating here, one in six is British,” he added.

UK Cabinet Minister Baroness Warsi, who is accompanying Lord Green on his first visit to Pakistan as Trade Minister, also attended the event, alongside Hussain Dawood, Chairman of the Karachi School for Business & Leadership. Other guests attending the event were members of Karachi’s “Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry” and members of “Pakistan Business Council”.

Speaking about the importance of education, Lord Green added that one of the most important areas where we can work together to ensure future prosperity is education. It is an area in which the UK and Pakistan are already jointly engaged and where, in a country with 33 million students, there is huge potential. “There are more people studying for O and A levels in Pakistan – some 170,000 of them – than anywhere else outside of the UK.”

“We have 30,000 students from Pakistan in the UK, and graduates of UK universities are the backbone of many businesses here in Pakistan. The many thousands of Pakistani students who sit the ACCA and CIMA accounting qualifications can help to drive up trade and investment between our countries.”

“And Prime Minister David Cameron was able to announce £650 million for education in Pakistan during his visit last year. These UK funds will help to get more than four million children into school, help recruit and train ninety thousand teachers and provide six million sets of text books.”

Leave a Reply