The European Union has granted Pakistan GSP Plus status till 2023. This enables Pakistan to increase exports of traditional and non-traditional products to EU member states. Pakistan and the EU share a strong bond in trade and investment. Pakistan sees the EU as an important trading bloc.
The EU accounted for 12.8 per cent of Pakistan’s total trade in 2015 and absorbed 23.7 per cent of Pakistan’s exports. More than 80 per cent of Pakistan’s exports to the EU consist of textile and clothing. Pakistan’s imports from the bloc mainly consist of machinery and transport equipment as well as chemicals.
Almost 72 per cent of Pakistan’s exports to the EU go to the UK, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy. Pakistan is looking forward to opportunities of market penetration in other countries like Greece, Slovenia and Ireland.
Pakistan wants to export agro-based processed foods in collaboration with European companies through joint ventures and transfer of technology. The GSP Plus status is monitored and reviewed every two years.
The enhanced trade preferences under GSP Plus are of particular importance to Pakistan’s textile and clothing industry. Over 70 per cent of EU imports from Pakistan are textiles and clothing.