EU GSP+ mission visits Pakistan to assess implementation of conventions – Pakistan
A European Union (EU) Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) monitoring mission arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday to assess the effective implementation of 27 international conventions, according to a press release issued by the mission. the EU in Islamabad.
Pakistan was granted GSP+ status in 2013, granting Pakistani products duty-free access to the European market.
The EU monitoring mission, made up of officials from the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Directorates-General for Trade and Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, will an assessment of the effective implementation of 27 international conventions to which Pakistan is a signatory.
While in Islamabad, the mission will hold meetings with the government, the United Nations (UN) country team, the International Labor Organization, business and civil society representatives and other stakeholders.
“The findings of the mission will form part of the next GSP+ report, which is due to be presented to the European Parliament and the Council towards the end of 2022,” the press release said.
GSP+ is a well-established instrument of trade and development policy, in place since 1971. Pakistan has been the main beneficiary of the GSP+ scheme for seven years. Under this status – which will expire on December 31, 2023 – there are no customs duties on several products.
Under the current GSP+ system, the EU continues to monitor beneficiary countries’ progress in implementing 27 international conventions.
Effective implementation of the conventions is a prerequisite for being eligible to export goods to EU markets at zero duty for 66% of tariff lines, the EU press release says.
He clarified that the conventions relate to human and labor rights, environmental protection, climate change and good governance.
“The European Union continuously monitors the implementation of the 27 relevant international conventions, relying in particular on reports and information from the United Nations (UN) and other international agencies which are their depositories.[s] of the respective convention,” the press release read.
“The EU regularly sends follow-up missions to assess the situation on the ground and then reflect its assessment in the publicly available report to the European Parliament and EU member states in the Council,” she said. said, adding that “so far, three of the biennial reviews have been concluded in 2016, 2018 and 2020, respectively”.
The press release further explained that GSP+ provides “broad tariff preferences for imports into the EU from vulnerable developing countries to support poverty eradication, sustainable development and their participation in the economy. worldwide as well as [to] strengthen good governance.
“This preferential status is conditional on GSP+ countries demonstrating tangible progress in implementing the 27 international conventions.”
In addition to Pakistan, the EU currently unilaterally grants GSP+ tariff concessions to Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan.
The current GSP framework comes to an end in December 2023, and the legislative process for its successor for 2024-2033 is underway, the press release said.
“GSP+ has been very beneficial for Pakistani businesses”
The EU press release states that “GSP+ has been very beneficial for Pakistani businesses[es]increasing their exports to the EU market by 65% since the country joined the program in 2014”.
“The single European market, with more than 440 million consumers, is Pakistan’s most important destination. Pakistani exports, worth 5.4 billion euros, mainly include clothing, bed linen, towels, hosiery, leather, sporting and surgical goods,” the press release added.
As the High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell Fontelles, pointed out, “the GSP scheme is about the joint commitment of the EU and Pakistan to sustainable development”.
The press release further mentioned a statement made by the Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis in 2021.
Dombrovskis said: “For five decades, the EU’s GSP has helped vulnerable countries develop in a sustainable way by giving them preferential access to the EU market. It has helped beneficiary countries diversify their economies and to create jobs. It has also galvanized recipient countries in improving human and labor rights, the environment and good governance.”