EU declines concessions for home textiles sector


The European Union (EU) has refused to give concessions to the country’s best performing home textiles sector and it will be excluded from the list of 75 Pakistani products granted the favour, official sources said on Friday.
The government has strongly advocated the inclusion of the home textile sector in the concessions package, but to no avail.
The trade concessions announced by EU are likely to take effect from January 1, 2011. These unilateral concessions are expected to remain in practice for the next three years. The EU Council has already announced its intention to facilitate Pakistan’s admission into the GSP-Plus concessionary trading arrangement from 2014.
The duty free concession is offered to the value added textile sector, including men’s cotton jackets, trousers, cotton night wear, women’s cotton night wear, woolen T-shirts, baby garments, synthetic tracksuits, gloves, men’s jackets, men’s trousers, women’s denim jeans, men’s cotton vests and women’s apron.
In year 2009, the share of the country’s home textile exports to EU was $1.06 billion, which was 17.1 percent of EU’s total imports in the category.
China had a 14.3 percent share, Bangladesh 3.5 percent, India 2.1 percent and Sri Lanka 0.04 percent.
The outstanding performance of the country’s home textile sector compared with competitors’ was one of the major reasons for it exclusion from the concession list, officials said.
The EU had consulted Pakistan while finalising the trade concessions package, but the final decision was taken unilaterally, and in such a condition Pakistan would not be bound to reciprocate the concessions for EU.