ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Privatisation Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that the GSP Plus Scheme will play a catalytic role to revive the country’s entire export product range.
He was speaking to newsmen about the impact of the GSP Plus on the country’s exports on Tuesday.
“The GSP Plus will facilitate the textile and apparel chain to diversify their product mix. Those products in which we do not have a competitive advantage will now be competitive vis-à-vis India and China due to zero tariffs,” he said. “However, the textile and apparel chain will also be required to upgrade their machinery and produce better quality products.”
He added that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had made the trade-not-aid slogan a reality. “The prime minister has delivered on his promise to the people of Pakistan to improve their economic prospects by achieving market access abroad for the country’s industries.”
The minister said that the GSP Plus status would be applicable until 2023 and was subject to various conditions, such as the share of any GSP Plus beneficiary country would not exceed two percent of the entire EU imports and ratification and reporting of 27 international conventions. “As per article 14 of the EU regulation, after every two years the EU Commission will present a report to the European Parliament on the status of ratification of these conventions,” he said.
He added that as per EU regulation, the entire textile and clothing products would be given duty free access to the EU markers from January 1, 2014. “Although, our Brussels office has informed that an official notification will be issued on January 6, 2014.”
The minister said that textiles, agriculture and fisheries were under special safeguards in the EU. “Textiles and clothing products are placed as sections 11a (HS Chapter 50 to 60) and 11b (HS Chapter 61 to 63). If the country’s exports exceed a threshold of six percent of the total EU imports of that product, then the safeguard threshold is 13.5 percent for every annual increase of imported volumes,” he said.
He added that he had already held a meeting with the apparel association and would now hold a meeting with other segments of the textile value chain to finalise his action plan for the industry.
“Presently, the Textile Division is working to simplify the temporary importation schemes for the purpose of re-export, arranging the weekly data base sharing with the Federal Board of Revenue and releasing funds to pay pending liabilities of the Textile Policy 2009-14, sales tax and drawback refunds,” he said.
“Skilled labour is required to produce additional quantities,” he said, adding that he would ensure the release of funds from the Export Development Fund to initiate various training programmes.
Source: The NEWS