Pakistan: EU envoy lauds Pak trade achievements

FAISALABAD: European Union Ambassador Jean-Francois Cautain has said that Pakistan has showed a number of trade achievements after GSP Plus incentives but there is still a lot of potential to be tapped to increase the trade volume. Addressing the members of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) here on Monday, he said that the EU was in process to finalise new engagement plan to further strengthen the relations between Pakistan and EU .

He said that relationship between the EU and Pakistan had reached the mature level and needed to be strengthened further. The EU had adopted a 5-year Engagement Plan in 2012, which broadened and deepened the relationship between the European Union and Pakistan. "We are finalising a new engagement plan to further strengthen the relationship," he said. He added that EU was reviewing the progress on the implementation of 27 UN conventions pertaining to human rights, labour rights, climate change, narcotics control and corruption. The review is a part of the scheme which monitors progress in terms of the convention and then submits a report to the EU Parliament. Responding to a question, the EU ambassador appreciated Pakistan''s efforts in fighting terrorism. In addition, he highlighted various initiatives taken by the European Union to help in the economic development of Pakistan. 

Earlier, PTEA Chairman Shaiq Jawed welcomed the EU ambassador and briefed him about the progress of textile industry. He highlighted the prospects of future increase of textile exports to EU . He termed Europe as major export destination for Pakistan and the largest trading partner. He thanked the EU for duty-free access that had opened new avenues of progress. GSP Plus incentives helped Pakistan build up its capacity to become more effective and competitive partner in international economics, he said. Not only Pakistan''s market share has increased but also exports to EUhave jumped from 4.54 billion Euro in 2013 to 6.29 billion Euro in 2016, he said. Textile export sector, the major beneficiary of duty waiver facility, also gained significant momentum with 55% increase; especially in home textile products with 60 percent increase, he said. He hoped that duty-free access would remain continue.

Highlighting the key initiatives taken by the Association to improve the implementation of social, labour and environmental standards in textile industry, he said that an International Labour Standard (ILS) Compliance and Reporting Programme were successfully running with technical assistance of ILO to improve workplace practices in the textile industry. Another programme, in collaboration with WWF Pakistan, has also been initiated to support the enforcement, implementation and compliance with International labour and environmental standards. In today''s era of globalisation, the industry must keep abreast with new opportunities and technological advancement, he said. In this regard, he added, a Sustainable Production Center (SPC) was being established under the aegis of GIZ Pakistan to work jointly for the promotion and execution of production activities.

He said that the world was passing through an era of knowledge-based economy. Major expansion of knowledge in technology, industry and services sector around the globe had posed serious challenges to the developing countries. "We are looking forward for the support to emerge Pakistan as a knowledge-based economy, compatible to the desired level of global change," he said.Later, the PTEA shield was presented to the visiting EU ambassador. A large number of textile exporters including former chairmen of PTEA Sheikh Mukhtar Ahmad, Faiq Jawed and Ajmal Farooq were also present.

Source: Pakistan Tribune, Pakistan
Thursday, 25 January 2018

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