FPCCI calls for concrete measures to capitalise GSP plus facility 13-Aug-16 68
KARACHI: Benefits of GSP Plus status were not visible in the country’s trade statistics, and it is important that effective monitoring system may be set up in the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to monitor all commodities being exported to EU under GSP plus status, said Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Regional Standing Committee Chairman on Horticulture Exports Ahmad Jawad.
As per trade statistics of International Trade Centre for international business development, Pakistan exports to Germany in 2014 stood at $1,215,478, France $430,869, Netherlands $684,740, Spain $789,828, Switzerland $13,744 only and Greece $69,959.
“In a bid to take advantage of the GSP Plus scheme, we must explore opportunities in other sectors besides textile and leather, as there is a huge potential of Pakistani horticulture products in EU market; but unforeseen circumstances hampered the process of exports which needs to be fixed on priority,” Ahmad Jawad mentioned.
He demanded that the government to direct the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) guide the fruit and vegetables exporters at large on the requirements of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO) and also provide due assistance in this regard so that Pakistani fresh produce may tap the market well.
“As in the past, we saw a swear decline on the export of mangoes to EU due to lack of timely intervention by the relevant authorities. Similarly, from the last two years, vegetables’ exports from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have been stopped to enter EU countries due to uncertainty between the exporters and DPP officials; regardless buyers of France, Netherlands and other EU members are interested to import kinnows, mangoes and fresh vegetables from us due to our unique taste,” he added.
Jawad advised that being an apex trade body, FPCCI may give its due guidelines to the government on monthly basis through its GSP plus desk besides highlighting recommendations and problems of the trade associations and chambers to increase the exports under this facility, as little time were left.
It may be recalled that the GSP Plus status would allow almost 20 percent of Pakistani exports to enter the EU market at zero tariff and 70 percent at preferential rates, which were valid till 2017.