The European Union (EU) has extended General System of Preferences (GSP) plus status for Pakistan, with six new Conventions. As per Business Recorder, Pakistan will continue to enjoy GSP plus status till 2022, after which the EU will announce new criterion to qualify for the scheme. The EU is Pakistan’s second most important trading partner, accounting for 14.3 per cent of Pakistan’s 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 total exports to the EU in 2020. Pakistan’s imports from the EU mainly comprise of machinery and transport equipment (33.5 per cent in 2020) as well as chemicals (22.2 per cent in 2020).
The EU and Pakistan have set up a Sub-Group on Trade to promote the development of two-way trade. Set up under the auspices of the EU-Pakistan Joint Commission, the new Sub-Group on Trade 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.