GSP Plus sta­tus to re­main till 2023

Enterprise - - National news -

The pref­er­en­tial trade sta­tus granted by the Euro­pean Union (EU) to Pak­istan un­der the Gen­er­alised Scheme of Pref­er­ences (GSP) Plus pro­gramme will re­main in place un­til 2023.

The scheme has been an­nounced for the pe­riod Jan­uary 1, 2014 to De­cem­ber 31, 2023 sub­ject to sat­is­fac­tory im­ple­men­ta­tion of 27 United Na­tions con­ven­tions by Pak­istan.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials in the Min­istry of Com­merce, un­der the GSP Plus frame­work, the EU and Pak­istan have got en­gaged in a very open and con­struc­tive pro­gramme to share in­for­ma­tion about sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment is­sues such as labour rights, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and good gov­er­nance.

The EU has co­op­er­ated with Pak­istani au­thor­i­ties and progress has been made on im­ple­men­ta­tion of the in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions.

The of­fi­cials point out that the govern­ment has grad­u­ally put in place in­sti­tu­tions de­signed to re­spect, pro­tect and pro­mote hu­man rights such as the GSP Plus Treaty Im­ple­men­ta­tion Cell, headed by the spe­cial as­sis­tant to prime min­is­ter on law and jus­tice, at the fed­eral and pro­vin­cial lev­els.

In ad­di­tion to this, the Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Hu­man Rights has also been es­tab­lished as well as hu­man rights cells at high courts through­out the coun­try.

A na­tional frame­work on hu­man rights is also at an ad­vanced stage of fi­nal­i­sa­tion. Fur­ther­more, in Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber last year, Pak­istan sub­mit­ted its coun­try re­ports to the rel­e­vant UN bod­ies deal­ing with the hu­man rights con­ven­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cials, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is pre­par­ing a tech­ni­cal re­port for the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and EU mem­ber states (coun­cil) to present the trade data linked with the GSP Plus scheme as well as de­vel­op­ments in the area of hu­man rights and labour laws. The re­port will be com­pleted by the end of Jan­uary this year.

Pak­istan is con­fi­dent that the re­port will high­light its com­pre­hen­sive part­ner­ship with the EU on th­ese is­sues.

The of­fi­cials point out that the com­merce min­istry will ad­vise ex­porters to con­tinue ex­port­ing high-qual­ity prod­ucts to the EU with­out in­dulging in any kind of spec­u­la­tion about the con­ti­nu­ity of GSP Plus in com­ing years.

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