Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry urges government to maintain and show progress on conventions it has signed to qualify for GSP+,

Lahore, December 30, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Monday urged the government to maintain and show progress on the 27 conventions, it has signed to qualify for GSP+ to reap the benefits of this great opportunity that is to be reviewed after two years by an EU Commission.

The LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari was speaking at a seminar organized by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA). Director General TDAP Sher Afgan Niazi, Head of WTO Cell, TDAP, Mujeeb Ahmad Khan, LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar, former LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Asif, LCCI Executive Committee Members Chaudhry Iftikhar Bashir and Muhammad Afzal also spoke on the occasion.

The LCCI President said that GSP Plus status has simultaneously brought opportunities and challenges to Pakistan because the country has a limited list of industries to leverage a position in the international market for diverse market share.

Engineer Sohail Lashari said that now is the time to take practical steps to grab this opportunity. He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry would continue to guide its members whenever the need arises.

He said that taking the overall economic perspective of Pakistan in view, this opportunity not only promises manifold increase in our exports but would also act as an instigator for investment, both domestic and FDI, employment generation, inculcation of best practices resulting in enhanced institutional capacity and sustained economic growth.

The LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar said that the very objective of holding a seminar on GSP plus status was to give awareness to the exporting members of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said that it would enable them to get full benefit without and trouble.

He said that another big advantage to Pakistan is that the world’s largest player in textile exports, China, shall not longer be enjoying the GSP facility in EU and thus Pakistani products shall have a cost advantage of nearly 14% over the Chinese products in Textile Made-ups.

He said that similarly, another big player in textiles, India has been graduated out from GSP facility for textiles and shall have to pay MFN duties. As regards textile made ups and garments, India will be in the GSP (general) category while Pakistan enjoys the GSP Plus.

The Director General of the TDAP Sher Afgan Niazi said that the Trade Development Authority would be utilizing all available resources to create awareness among the exporters to enable them the tap the opportunity up to its potential.

DG TDAP said that given the fact that Pakistan’s inclusion in the list of beneficiary countries of the EU GSP Plus Scheme promises immense economic benefits, it is incumbent on all the stakeholders, public and private sectors alike to play their part in ensuring that we continue to benefit from such an opportunity. In his presentation, the head of WTO Cell of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Mujeeb Ahmad Khan gave details about the important timelines attached to GSP plus status.

He said that the status is for ten years period but European Commission would present report to EU Parliament and EU Council on the implementation of 27 conventions every two year. He said that both the government and the private sector would have to work in unison the avail this opportunity. He said that the status would provide Pakistan duty free or preferential duty rate access on 3,500 products to EU markets.

The status will enable Pakistan to export products worth over $1 billion to international markets. The textile industry alone is expected to earn profits of more than one trillion rupees a year. As a matter of fact, Pakistan’s textile and clothing exports to the EU currently constitute over half of the country’s total exports to the bloc worth $9.5 billion.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854

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