GSP Plus status: EU envoy stresses implementation of conventions

Web DeskWeb Editor

16th Jul, 2021. 06:14 pm
New EU agency

KARACHI: Ambassador of the European Union in Pakistan Androulla Kaminara has stressed the need to ensure implementation of conventions on human and labour rights so that the GSP Plus status granted to Pakistan by the EU continues without any issue.

Speaking at a meeting during her visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the EU ambassador, discussed the possibilities of further improving the EU-Pakistan bilateral trade, and said the European Union is committed to working together to facilitate the EU’s trade in Karachi and the rest of the country.

KCCI president M Shariq Vohra, senior vice-president M Saqib Goodluck, KCCI’s Diplomatic Missions and Embassies Liaison Subcommittee chairman Junaid Mundia, former President of the KCCI Majyd Aziz and KCCI managing committee members attended the meeting.

Kaminara said that the progress on reforms and implementation of conventions was reviewed after every two years, adding that special trade incentives such as GSP Plus status was withdrawn if the country was found not fully abiding the obligations in the light of the report.

However, she said, in the 2020 review report, Pakistan had gained a significant improvement in certain areas but a lot more needs to be done in other sectors, as well.

Appreciating the improvements in some of the 27 conventions signed by Pakistan, she said, the government spent two years making legislation for the protection of the journalist community. But emphasised there was a need to expedite reforms and steps for legislation on disappearance, torture, abuse and inspection on factories to meet all the EU obligations.

The EU and Pakistan Business Council would be formed to strengthen the bilateral trade and economic ties with a particular focus on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), she added.

Earlier, Vohra welcomed the EU ambassador, and emphasised that the European Union’s GSP Plus has helped Pakistan fight terrorism and bring peace to the world.

“This GSP Plus, which created abundant employment opportunities that helped in dealing with the economic crises to an extent, should not be disturbed and the European Union must continue it for a longer period of time so that the industry is geared up to deal with all the challenges in a highly competitive world,” he added.

He also stressed the government of Pakistan must expedite work on all the legislations on top priority, which have been pending at the National Assembly, Senate or National Commission for Human Rights levels and all such legislations, which are either required by the European Union must be approved and legislated at the earliest to help Pakistan retain its GSP Plus status.

He also emphasised the European Union must work closely and more actively with the Karachi Chamber to review the progress and impact of the GSP Plus on Pakistan’s economy and businesses.

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