Delayed concessions stun exporters
The European Union has delayed duty-free concessions for 67 products from Pakistan till March 2011 due to strong opposition from India at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva. These concessions were expected to be effective from January 2011. The EU sought waiver from WTO on trade preferences to Pakistan on 67 products amounting to almost 900 million euros in import value to help the country recover from floods losses. The waiver was blocked by four WTO-member states; Vietnam, Bangladesh and Peru led by India in the first meeting of the Council for Trade in Goods, which was mandatory for the implementation of the EU preferences offer to Pakistan. China neither supported nor opposed the waiver to Pakistan. Obviously India won't let it go easily and so did they do, but EU duty to pushed hard as well. In fact early approval of the law is very important to increase Pakistan exports to EU markets. India, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Peru expressed systemic concerns with the EU request for waiver in terms of possible implications to the multilateral trading system and to like exports of developing countries. They called for consultations on the EU request. As a result, it is agreed at the meeting that consultations would be started on EU request meaning that it would be hard to get the waiver approval easily from the WTO members. Under EU offer, $1 billion worth of home-textile exports to EU were excluded from concession from Pakistan while mostly duty free import of textile raw material was allowed. Local value-added sector strongly opposed EU offer, saying it would only encourage export of raw material from the country resulting in high input cost for local industry. European Union is well aware about the conditions of Pakistan that there is dire need of help from its friends. "If they want to stabilize Pakistan, they have to address economic issues." Help from the biggest trade block of the world could do miracle for Pakistan. If the global players decide to help Pakistan, the situation could be back to normal faster than the expectations.