EU trade waiver apply to some of Pakistan’s most crucial exports of textiles, leather goods

Brussels: The European Union EU trade waiver for EU markets will apply to some of Pakistan’s most crucial exports such as textiles and leather goods. The value of goods that are affected by the waiver is expected to be around 900 million Euro $1.2 billion, almost 27% of Pakistan’s total exports to the trading bloc.

Pakistan’s efforts to revive its export sector have received a big boost after some of its goods were given duty free access to the EU. World Trade Organization WTO approved EU’s move to waive duties on 75 Pakistani products, including textiles, for two years. “I’m very happy. It was a long drawn out exercise, and something of a success for diplomacy,” said Shahid Bashir Pakistan’s ambassador to the WTO.

EU move had seen other countries from the region such as Bangladesh, Indonesia & India, which compete with Pakistani manufacturers, raise objections to waiver. However, they dropped reservations after EU amended waivers to include a tariff rate quota TRQ on some products, limiting amount of exports that are eligible for duty waivers. Quota will be calculated based on average exports from 2008 to 2010.

Bashir explained that quota was very simple. If export volume was under set limit there would be no tariff implement, but if it exceeded limit, Pakistan will have to pay normal applicable tariff. “We have at least 25% margin over and above our 2011 exports. It gives us some flexibility,” he said.

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