Pakistan’s exports to the European Union (EU) have surged 86% from 2013 to 2021 due to the GSP Plus status granted by the EU to the country.
The mutually beneficial deal led to increase in exports of both Pakistan and EU, stated the GSP Handbook.
Pakistan’s exports to the EU increased from €3.56 billion in 2013 to €6.64 billion in 2021. On the flip side, Islamabad’s imports from EU member states also rose from €3.31 billion in 2013 to €5.59 billion in 2021, translating to an increase of 69%.
Growth in bilateral trade means that more jobs have been created and working conditions for employees have improved.
Sustainable policies for the business sector were considered and promoted by the government and overall improvement has been witnessed in macroeconomic indicators of Pakistan.
Since 2013, EU’s exports to Pakistan have increased substantially in diverse sectors including machinery (49%), iron and steel (114%), pharmaceuticals (143%), plastics (79%) and medical measuring instruments (45%).
Regarding country wise exports to EU member states, foreign shipments from Pakistan to 12 countries in the bloc increased by over 100%. These included Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Denmark, Ireland, Cyprus, Spain and Netherlands.
GSP Plus played a key role in Pakistan’s shift to a greener future as it led to drafting of legislative instruments and initiation of policy actions for cleaner Pakistan.
Pakistan has achieved SDG 13 (climate action) 10 years ahead of the deadline.
Recharge Pakistan initiative has been launched to enhance climate resilience and water security. Moreover, the government has passed the environment protection bill as well.
Nearly 20 textile and apparel companies are leading Pakistan’s first ever net-zero coalition to reach the target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The government has also launched Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme and it is working in full swing to combat climate change.
GSP Plus has strengthened Pakistan’s commitment to further improve the work standards as well as labour rights.
Pakistan has taken several legislative and policy actions to ensure that the objective is achieved.
Significant efforts have been made by Pakistan in improving the gender equality and boost women empowerment through legislative measures and policy actions.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2022.