The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has started lobbying for extension in GSP Plus scheme granted to Pakistan by the European Union in 2014.
FPCCI President Abdul Rauf Alam has asked all the vice presidents of the Apex chamber and other businessmen to use their connections and emphatically present the country’s case for extension in trade relaxations.
In this regard, the FPCCI president hosted a dinner in honour of a number of ambassadors and high commissioners. Leaders of the business community from all over the country also participated in the event.
Speaking to the diplomats, he said the GSP Plus scheme, which provided duty concession on export of many goods should be approved for the next term.
He said the government has tasked embassies to start lobbying for approval by the EU Parliament of extension in the scheme, which will be debated in the coming months. The business community should also use their connections in the country’s interest, he added.
In January 2014, the EU had granted the GSP Plus status offering duty-free access to their markets for two years. Now, the facility will be extended for the next term on the basis of progress and achievements over the past two years.
Alam expressed hope that the EU Parliament, keeping in view the overall situation, would give approval for the extension.
He pointed out that the restriction on carrying out the death penalty was not part of the strings attached to the GSP Plus scheme as Pakistan is in a difficult situation fighting the war on terror and offering sacrifices.
The countries that are opposing trade relaxations to Pakistan despite the war on terror and natural disasters are not serving humanity, he said.
Brexit has increased challenges and opportunities while success in the war on terror is linked to economic development, Alam said.