Dec 17, 2013
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Europe grants duty-free status to Pakistani textiles

Dec 17, 2013

After a long process, the European Union has granted GSP+ status to Pakistan. The move allows the country to export a set number of products to Europe, which currently accounts for 20% of its foreign trade.

Photo: AFP

The accord applies to textiles. Pakistan is currently the ninth largest apparel supplier to the EU, having imported 970 million euros worth of products between January and August (figures IFM). The country is also the Europe’s fifth largest textile supplier, with 1.14 billion euros of imports over the period from January to August.

The agreement obtained by Islamabad could strengthen Pakistan's position on the European market for textiles and clothing. According to the local press, the Pakistani industry expects to earn an additional one billion rupees or 12 million euros.

The decision again created dissension in Europe as it has in the past; EU industries fear such accords will strike a new blow to their businesses. The resolution passed with 406 votes against 186, granting Pakistan's GSP+ status for the period 2014-2017.

Euratex, the European organization for the textile and clothing industry, was strongly opposed to the project, which gives GSP status to other countries: Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Georgia, Mongolia, Paraguay and Peru.

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