EU envoy seeks due role of traders in implementation of all conventions of GSP Plus

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Ambassador of European Union in Pakistan, Mr Jean Francois Cautain has emphasized upon the Pakistani businessmen to play its proactive role in the complete implementation of all the conventions of the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP-Plus) to enable Pakistan reap full benefits of the EU awarded GSP Plus Status.

The EU diplomat was addressing during a meeting at Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry here. SCCI president Faiz Muahmmad Faizi presided over the meeting. Besides, the SCCI Senior Vice President, Engr Saad Khan Zahid, Vice President Haris Mufti, former presidents Zahidullah Shinwari, the chamber executive body members, businessmen, exporters and traders in a large number were present.

Faiz Muhammad while in his welcome speech urged the EU to play its role in removal of irritants and difficulties in way of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He praised the financial and technical assistance for skills development, health and education sectors as well as natural calamity.

SCCI chief briefed the visiting diplomat about investment opportunities and potentials in various sectors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, mainly in honey, pharmaceutical, marble, hydro power generation, match, Gems and jewellry, oil. Ghee, chemical, mineral as well as other important sectors. He urged the foreign companies to make investment in these potential sectors.

Faiz Muhammad hailed that EU for its continnous vigorous support to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Technical Education and Vocational Training Agency (KP-TEVTA) and expressed the financial assistance will be sustained in future. He expressed concern for low export of EU markets despite granting of GSP Plus status and stressed that need for complete implementation of all the conventions of the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP- Plus) to enable Pakistan reap full benefits of the EU awarded GSP Plus Status.

SCCI president on the occasion also mentioned that mutual trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan had declined due to tough conditions and duties imposed by Afghan authorities. He urged the EU to play its due role in removal of hurdles in way of bilateral trade between two neighbouring countries.

The EU ambassador while speaking on the occasion said the GSP- Plus would play a major role in increasing Pakistan exports to EU countries which had extended to Pakistan since Jan 1, 2014, allowing preferential access to Pakistani manufacturing products (mostly zero duties on two-thirds of all product categories) to EU markets. But, he said that Pakistan didn’t take full benefits from the GSP Plus scheme.

He pledged that the European Union (EU), however, will continue extending support and cooperation to Pakistan to help it fulfill all the conditions of the GSP Plus Status. He pointed out that the EU is keen to establish strong trade relations with Pakistan and stressed the need for taking effective measures to boost mutual trade ties.

Mr Jean Francois said the EU wants to extend economic and trade ties with Pakistan. For this purpose, he said that European Union and Pakistan has engaged under a comprehensive plan to extend cooperation and collaboration in various sectors, aiming at promotion durable economic development in Pakistan.

Earlier, SCCI Senior Vice president, Engr Saad Khan Zahid, Vice president, Haris Mufti, former president, Zahidullah Shinwari, APCEA Chairman Manzoor Elahi, businessmen from honey sector also spoke on the occasion.