Business leader for exploiting GSP Plus | The Express Tribune


Exporters should reap maximum benefits of the GSP plus status as it is playing a key role in pushing Pakistan towards a bright future, said UK-Pakistan Business Council Chairman Mian Kashif Ashfaq.

Speaking to a delegation of women exporters on Thursday, he said that GSP plus status had strengthened Pakistan’s commitment to further improve work standards and labour rights.

“Supported by the GSP plus scheme, woman make up more than 33% of the workforce in the apparel sector,” he said. “Increase in bilateral trade created jobs and improved working conditions of labourers.”

According to him, sustainable policies for the business sector, framed in consultation with relevant stakeholders, yielded positive results and bolstered the national economy.

The official noted that there was vast scope to fully explore the untapped European markets and called for enhancing the export volume from the existing level of €12.2 billion bilateral trade last year.

He added that trade volume with EU stood at just €6.9 billion in 2013.

“EU GSP plus is a mutually beneficial arrangement while sparked an increase in exports for both sides,” he said. “Local exports to UK can also swell to £10 billion if the entire available potential is exploited.”

He said that the country’s exports to 12 EU member states had risen by over 100% which reflected the potential of prudent economic policies of government.

Delegation leader Saba Aalam Butt said that although the government was completely facilitating the exporters, there was a dire need of special exclusive desks for women exporters manned by lady officers for on spot redressal of their genuine grievances.

“Women in Pakistan make up 51% of total population and a major chunk is engaged in SME sector that can also contribute significantly towards boosting exports,” she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2022.

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