PBC, PRGMEA welcome WTO waiver for EU concession | Pakistan Today

PBC, PRGMEA welcome WTO waiver for EU concession

Pakistan Business Council in a statement welcomed the WTO waiver for EU concessions granted to certain textile exports from Pakistan post the 2010 floods. PBC in its statement recalled that the move to request the EU for a short time market access came about at a meeting that the PBC had with the President of Pakistan in August 2010 which was held to review post flood rehabilitation measures.
At the request of the President of Pakistan, a PBC team comprising its members; namely Mr. Bashir Ali Mohammad and Mr. Shabbir Diwan accompanied the then Foreign Minister and Mr. Zafar Mahmood, Secretary Commerce to the major European Capitals and Brussels in September 2010 to plead Pakistan’s case. The PBC in its statement has noted that though it had taken nearly 18 months for the concessions to materialize it in no way demeans the sustained efforts of the President of Pakistan, as well as those of the Foreign Minister Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, the Minister of Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim, the Secretary Foreign Affairs Mr. Salman Bashir, the Secretary Commerce Mr. Zafar Mahmood, Mr. Tariq Puri Chairman of TDAP as well as the PBC members led by Mr. Bashir Ali Mohammad. The PBC also acknowledges the support that was extended by Pakistan’s friends in the EU Parliament especially Mr. Sajjad Karim, Member European Parliament for liaising between the various EU parliamentarians and the PBC/GOP to garner and maintain continued support for this concession.
Mr. Asad Umar Chairman PBC hoped that the working relationship developed between the PBC & the GOP on trade will continue as Pakistan strives for GSP Plus status for its exports to the EU.
Meanwhile, the value-added textile sector also hailed the economic package offered by European Union (EU) terming it as a good omen to the ailing textile industry.
The Central and Zonal Chairmen of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Shehzad Salim and Atiq Kochra while taking sigh of relief on allowing duty free access of 75 products to EU said that Pakistan’s value-added textile industry especially garments exports were badly suffering due to various factors and EU’s package which was long awaited by exporters would bring a little life into garment and apparel industry.
They said that EU package for 2 years, extendable for 3rd year, was offered last year, out of which 65 are textile products to support our economy affected with devastated floods but India at WTO objected followed by Bangladesh and some other countries to the said trade concession to Pakistan. “As the Indian government has withdrawn their objection followed by settlement with the other complainant countries and finally WTO has given NOC to EU in their Wednesday’s meeting in Brussels for the said trade concession may bring a life into ailing garments industry of Pakistan”, commented Shehzad Salim. The PRGMEA leaders appreciated the efforts of Commerce Minister, Amin Faheem, Secretary Commerce Zafar Mehmood and TDAP’s CE, Tariq Puri for their tireless efforts for said market access to EU. They hoped that after EU Foreign Minister’s approval and WTO NOC to the approved trade concession the bill will now go to EU Councils of Ministers for passing the law which may take about few weeks to get implemented. They said that Pakistan should also make strenuous efforts to get GSP Plus in January 2014.

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