GSP Plus Status for Pakistan
The European Union (EU) recently extended its general system of preferences plus (GSP+) status for Pakistan till 2022 with six new conventions. The European Commission’s new conventions pertain to greater accessibility for people with physical disability, child labour eradication and environmental safety. EU will announce new criteria after 2022 to qualify for the scheme.
The EU has expressed its concerns about situation of human rights, press freedom, death penalty and child-labour related issues in Pakistan, according to media reports in the country.
The EU is Pakistan’s second most important trading partner, accounting for 14.3 per cent of total trade in 2020 and absorbing 28 per cent of Pakistan’s total exports.
In 2020, Pakistan was EU’s 42nd largest trading partner in goods accounting for 0.3 per cent of EU trade. Pakistani exports to the EU are dominated by textiles and clothing, accounting for 75.2 per cent of Pakistan’s total exports to the EU last year
The EU and Pakistan have set up a sub-group on trade to promote the development of two-way trade. The sub-group on trade set up under the auspices of the EU-Pakistan Joint Commission is the forum for discussions on trade policy developments more broadly and also aims to tackle individual market access issues which hamper trade between the two parties.