EU trade concessions delayed till March


ISLAMABAD: Tariff concessions announced by the European Union (EU) on 75 Pakistani products will not be implemented from January 1, 2011 and the country will have to wait till March when the World Trade Organization (WTO) again takes up the proposed wavier, an official source said.
Opposition from South Asian competitors, India and Bangladesh at the WTO’s council for trade in goods has forced the EU to delay the implementation of concessions announced for Pakistan. EU would again approach WTO for wavier in March and if approved, these would be implemented from April 1, 2011, the source said.
Pakistan had used diplomatic channels to counter concerns of the other member states at WTO but opposition from the South Asian neighbours halted the passage from WTO. EU would again try to address concerns of other countries, while Pakistan would also stress upon the EU for early implementation of concessions, the source added.
WTO was informed by the EU that selected products were included to limit the potential adverse impact on other members and passing maximum positive impact on flood hit Pakistan. The selected product lines amounted to 900 million euros in import value, accounting for about 27 percent of the 27 member blocks annual three billion euro imports from Pakistan.