European Union

Pakistan accelerates efforts to secure extension in GSP plus status

GSP plus

The government has expedited its efforts to fulfill the strict conditions of the European Union (EU) to ensure a ten years extension (2024-2034) from the EU in its Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) plus status for Pakistan.

During a high-level meeting under the headship of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, concerned ministries gave a briefing on the status of the current GSP-Plus scheme of the European Union and on preliminary work for the revised scheme. The federal government has accelerated work to ensure a ten years extension from the EU for its GSP plus status.

“The Prime Minister has advised the Ministry of Interior and all provincial governments to accelerate the work to ensure extension in GSP Plus status till 2034,” sources said.

Sources further said that the EU’s GSP Plus status was initiated in 2014 and will expire on December 31, 2023. Pakistan is making approximately 6.5 billion euros because of its GSP Plus status.

Read more: Trade between Pakistan and 28 EU member states reached €12.2 billion in 2021

Besides, Pakistan will have to make five new strict agreements so as to secure the extension till 2034.

Sources also said that up to now Pakistan has not approved further conventions for the new GSP Plus scheme (2024-2034) including the First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil, Political Rights (individual complaint against state party in ICCPR-UNHCR), the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR (abolition of the death penalty), and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (individual complaints against state party in ICC). They informed that ratification has many legal and political implications. 

Moreover, Pakistan has made stock of the development of child labor rules, strengthening labor inspection regimes, enactment of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs of climate change), and dangerous waste management policies. A wholesome plan has been formulated and is being executed including Business Government (B2G) engagements and Business to Business (B2B) initiation of the second round of engagement with EU stakeholders.

EU GSP Plus associated obligations and compliance are concerned with human rights, labor rights, climate change, and governance, sources said.

It is worth mentioning that the government has already been promoting the local business associations to lobby at the EU level.  

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