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KARACHI: The United Business Group (UBG) has expressed the hope that grant of two-year extension in the GSP Plus status for Pakistan by the European Union (EU) will lead to a significant increase in exports.

President of the UBG Zubair Tufail, Chairman Shehzad Ali Malik, Secretary General Zafar Bakhtawari, Chairman for Sindh Region Khalid Tawab, Secretary General (Sindh) Hanif Gohar and Central Spokesperson Gulzar Feroze congratulated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar over the grant of extension in the prestigious status.

The EU is the largest export market for Pakistani goods, as it accounts for nearly one-third of the country’s exports. The UBG leaders said that the government of Pakistan had requested the EU to extend the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus status for two years, which has been approved.

They also welcomed the announcement about the EU’s efforts to make the GSP Plus programme tax-free. The extension is being seen in a positive light and it is gratifying that many European countries are presenting the GSP Plus case of Pakistan as a test case for its implementation.

Zubair Tufail also welcomed the approval of the barter trade framework by the cabinet and said that goods can be traded for products from Central Asia, Africa, Afghanistan, Iran and China.

The barter trade framework will be fully utilised for trade and through the framework Pakistan’s goods can be exported to the mentioned countries, he added.

Hanif Gohar said that GSP Plus status is very beneficial for Pakistan as it has played an important role in expanding trade with the European Union.

UBG Spokesperson Gulzar Feroze said that GSP Plus is a constructive engagement for improving the Pakistani economy and promote the economic agenda. The scheme has a positive synergy with the social agenda of the government.

It provides tariff-free access of Pakistani manufacturers to the largest apparel market besides a solid platform and incentive structure to drive further reforms in the industry.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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