KARACHI - The EU has decided to accept Pakistans request of allowing its textile goods a preferential market access to the European trade markets with an aim to help recover countrys fragile economy from devastating floods, which have caused widespread damage and losses to economy, especially the agriculture sector. The formal declaration from the EU with regard to this decision is expected to be made soon, most probably next month. Sources, privy to this matter, told The Nation on Wednesday that the European Union after having a long discussion with the representatives of member countries in Brussels keeping in view the magnitude of the recent calamity and its short-to-medium term effects on economy has decided to provide some concessionary trade facilities to Pakistani textile exporters. The assessment analysis for the preconditions of said facility by the top EU officials has been completed. However, the terms and conditions related to this agreement are yet to be finalised. Though, it is not clear which incentive package the Western nations are going to offer Pakistani textile products to enter into the vast exporting markets of Europe, but most of the stakeholders of local textile sector are still skeptical and see very few chances for obtaining GSP plus status from EU for Pakistan despite qualifying the rules and regulations necessary to take this advantage, particularly when some member countries have some objection over the poor labour standards, product quality and weak industrial base of the textile sector. Sources said UK and Germany are the strong supporters of Pakistan in this case and both countries have been pushing EU decision makers to ease the regulations of GSP plus schemes for the last few months to add eligible developing countries to it. Sources applauded the role of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister Pakistan and Waqar Masood Khan, Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Textile Industries in presenting Pakistans case before the EU officials at a meeting held in Islamabad with a view to discuss the state of economy and losses assessment in the aftermath of the heavy floods. An Aptma representative and a renowned textile industrialist while talking to this scribe said, Pakistan is unlikely to become the beneficiary of a preferential tariff scheme known as GSP plus but the EU may grant limited trade facilities on temporary basis including reduction in tariffs and duties on the export of some agreed textile goods, which is being indicated by local and foreign media reports. However, the prospects of allowing quota-free status to Pakistan are very bright in the given circumstances like the EU had done in 2001. He said the country is in crisis-like situation if the proposed EU decision comes into force then the all credit for this job will be given to worst-ever natural calamity that triggered EU to do so because Pakistans trade diplomacy efforts due to lack of free trade practices are not proved fruitful at international levels. He while citing the example of the imposition of quota on yarn exports by government said this move was not only an open violation of the WTO treaty and other bilateral trade agreements, but it was also against the government trade policy to access new export markets across the different regions especially in America and Europe. It must be mentioned here that the European Union had already drawn up a list of products qualifying for exemptions aimed at providing some 25 million euros of annual benefits to Pakistan and significant EU voices are backing the move to facilitate Pakistan.