Govt urged to step up efforts for EU trade package

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KARACHI – Pakistan Towel Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (PTMA) Chairman Syed Usman Ali has urged the government to strongly lobby the European Union to access the trade concessions announced by EU for Pakistan.
The TMA chief, in an issued statement, said that EU had announced the provision of tariff relief for Pakistani goods in view of the devastation wreaked by floods last year. The value added textile (VAT) sector selected for the relief package encompasses the towel sector as well.
Pakistani businessmen are keen to avail the opportunities provided by the package. However, unfortunately, he said, this offer of concession was vetoed by a few countries including India, Bangladesh and Paraguay. Then, it was decided that the draft will be resent to the WTO for its perusal during the reconciliation meeting in March this year but no positive result has emerged.
The PTMA has stressed upon the need for concerned authorities including the Foreign Office, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Textile Industry, Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Pakistan’s Economic Minister at WTO for strongly pursuing the issue at the WTO till the package of incentives and concessions from EU is finally cleared. Meanwhile, India was going for next round of negotiations on Free Trade Agreement with EU scheduled from April 7-8 2011, he mentioned.