European Union’s GSP+ Stakeholder Outreach Workshop held in Islamabad May 16th, 2017

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European Union (EU) in collaboration with Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan organized a Stakeholder Outreach Workshop on EU’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Islamabad on May 16th, 2017. EU’s GSP+ is preferential tariff system which grants eligible developing countries full or partial tariff reductions for specific exports to the EU Market. The workshop focused on the economic, social, human rights and environmental impact of the EU’s GSP+ arrangement in Pakistan. Mr. Jean-Fracois Cautain, the Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan was the Chief Guest of the event. The workshop brought together stakeholders from the international and national businesses and trade organizations, government representatives and NGOs. The event offered the stakeholders the opportunity to learn more about the GSP+ and to discuss the possible means to further strengthen the cooperation between EU and Pakistani trade markets. ECO Science Foundation was specially invited to participate and Engr. Khalil Raza, Scientific Officer participated on behalf of the Foundation.

The major objective of holding this event was to carry out a Mid-Term Evaluation to assess the whether the objectives of the GSP regulation in Pakistan are on track to be achieved. The GSP arrangement were introduced in Pakistan in 2014 and that provides duty free, quota free access for a large majority of Pakistani export to the EU.

H.E. Mr. Jean-Fracois Cautain, the Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan, during his opening remarks affirmed that EU’s GSP arrangement has played a positive role between EU and Pakistan and it has resulted in improved economic activity and increased exports to the EU. Mr. Cautian briefly outlined the purpose of holding this workshop which was to discuss different components of GSP+, which will be effective until 2030. Mr. Cautain said that this workshop is part of the Global Development Agenda and it will help build capacity of relevant stakeholders in Pakistan to monitor and implement the GSP arrangement in the country. GSP provides a window of opportunity to Pakistan to diversify its market and there is a big potential that is still untapped.

H.E. Mr. Ashtar Ausaf Ali, Attorney General for Pakistan and Chair of Treaty Implementation Cell, during his opening remarks he said that this is one of the steps towards full implementation of GSP+ and scale up the partnership between EU and Pakistan. The GSP+ arrangement will bring about compliance of twenty-one regulations and promote healthy environment for Pakistan industrial and trade market, he added. Mr. Ali further said that this arrangement is an incentive for both sides and it will encourage and introduce good practices of trade and businesses into the Pakistani market. Treaty Implementation Cell is bringing together national and provincial trade organization together that will ultimately help in boosting economic activity, which is key for bringing peach and harmony in the region.

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