Understanding GSP+ status: What it means for Pakistan’s trade relations

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has vehemently dismissed accusations levelled by Federal Information Minister Attaullah Tarar, labelling them as unfounded and baseless.

In a statement issued today, the PTI refuted claims made by Tarar, asserting that they are nothing but a concoction of falsehoods and rhetoric aimed at maligning the party’s reputation.

Earlier, Tarar had accused the PTI of plotting to undermine Pakistan’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status.

He alleged that the party’s spokespersons were actively engaged in activities detrimental to the country’s interests under the directives issued from confinement.

Understanding GSP+ and its significance for Pakistan’s economy

The GSP+ status, a cornerstone of Pakistan’s trade relations with the European Union (EU), holds significant importance for the nation’s economy.

Under this scheme, selected developing countries, including Pakistan, receive extensive trade concessions aimed at fostering sustainable development and good governance practices.

The European Union’s GSP+ Scheme is founded on the effective implementation of 27 United Nations conventions covering various aspects such as human rights, labour rights, climate change, narcotics control, and corruption.

Once granted GSP+ status, beneficiary countries are subject to rigorous monitoring to ensure compliance with the stipulated conventions and reporting requirements.

The dialogue on GSP+ compliance involves various stakeholders, including international monitoring bodies, civil society, trade unions, and businesses.

Regular monitoring visits are conducted by the EU to assess the progress of beneficiary countries in addressing the outlined issues.

The significance of GSP+ for Pakistan’s economy cannot be overstated, particularly for its textile industry and workforce.

Over the past decade, Pakistan has witnessed a notable increase in exports to the EU, accompanied by a surge in EU imports, owing to the preferential treatment offered under the GSP+ scheme.

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