Tue, 16 Aug 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 22 (ANI): A mission of the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP) arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday to assess the effective implementation of 27 international conventions.

The EU's GSP gives developing countries a special incentive to pursue sustainable development and good governance. Pakistan was granted GSP Plus status in 2013, granting its products duty-free access to the European market, the Dawn newspaper reported.

"The GSP (Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus) provides wide-ranging tariff preferences for imports to the EU from vulnerable developing countries to support poverty eradication, sustainable development and their participation in the global economy as well as reinforce good governance," the EU mission said in a statement.

Eligible countries like Pakistan can export goods to the EU market at zero duties for 66 per cent of tariff lines. This preferential status is conditional on GSP countries demonstrating tangible progress on the implementation of 27 international conventions on human and labour rights, environmental protection, climate change and good governance.

As stated by Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis in 2021 "For five decades, the EU GSP has supported vulnerable countries to grow in a sustainable manner by giving them preferential access to the EU market.

This has helped beneficiary countries to diversify their economies and create jobs. It has also galvanised beneficiary countries into improving human and labour rights, the environment and good governance".

As underlined by High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell Fontelles "The GSP scheme is all about the EU's and Pakistan's joint commitment to sustainable development.""GSP has been very beneficial for Pakistani business increasing their exports to the EU market by 65% since the country joined GSP in 2014. The European Single Market, with over 440 million consumers, is Pakistan's most important destination. Pakistan exports worth EUR 5.4 billion (approx. PKR 1.2 trillion), namely garments, bed linen, terry towels, hosiery, leather, sports and surgical goods," the EU statement said.

During the mission, meetings with the government, the UN Country Team, International Labour Organization (ILO), business and civil society representatives as well as other stakeholders will take place.

The findings of the mission will be part of the next GSP report, which is due to be presented to the European Parliament and the Council towards the end of 2022.

The European Union continuously monitors the implementation of relevant 27 international conventions drawing inter alia on the reports and information by the UN and other international agencies that are custodians of the respective convention.

The EU regularly sends monitoring missions to assess the situation on the ground and to subsequently reflect its evaluation in the publicly available report to the European Parliament and to the EU Member States in the Council.

So far, three biennial reviews have been concluded in 2016, 2018 and 2020, respectively. (ANI)

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