Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (Ministry of Commerce) Director General Sajid Hussain has said that Generalised System of Preference (GSP) plus status will help save up to 36 percent taxes in exports besides extending a great opportunity to Pakistan to capture markets of European Union.

Briefing the members of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) on GSP plus here, Sajid Hussain said that another 10 countries had also got the same status but they exported a very little number of items at a limited scale to European Union. He added that these countries included Armenia, Peru, Portugal, Georgia, Bolovia and Ecuador. He told the MCCI members that there was much potential in export of agri-goods, chemical, textile, metal, meat, edible oil, dairy products, honey, pulses, sugar, confectionary, nuts and others.

To a question, he stated that Bangladesh also enjoyed the same status but it was faced with political uncertainty and Pakistan had excellent opportunity to increase its export volume. Sajid Hussain informed that the country would enjoy relaxation for a period of 10 years.

PITD Director Dr Kausar Ali Zaidi and Deputy Director Khalid Hanif said in their briefing that there was no limitation for Pakistani products under GSP Plus. European countries require brass and zinc in huge quantity. They said that Pakistan should avail this golden opportunity to develop its good relations in European markets by exporting good quantity products on reasonable rates

MCCI President Khawaja Usman also spoke and urged industrialists to get maximum benefits from GSP plus status. “GSP Plus is a great boon to Pakistan and the government must take full advantage by overcoming its habitual complacency and ending corruption, inefficiency, bureaucratic bottlenecks and infrastructure problems. It should also seriously address the energy crisis,” he said. The GSP Plus Act came into force from January 1, 2014 and will be effective for ten years but it would be reviewed in 2017. Through the GSP Plus facility, exports of some 3,500 products will now have duty-free access to 27 European markets. He hoped the country will fully exploit the new economic potential offered by the GSP Plus status. Other industrialists were also present on the occasion.