(February 08, 2019)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said that despite availability of GSP+ status in European Union, Pakistan’s bilateral trade is far below the potential level. In 2016, Pakistan’s share in EU agriculture imports of around $ 70 billion was mere $ 20 million while in Pakistan could export only $ 420 million plastic and rubber products out of $ 110 billion EU imports of this sector. Pakistan’s exports to EU has been increased by 5 percent over the last 5 years, despite decline of overall Country’s exports, however, new policies and patterns should be formed to boost exports further to the European Union.
The Veteran Business Leader while talking to the business community said that Pak – Germany bilateral trade need to be enhanced to a next level given to the strong trade and economic relations between the countries. The bilateral trade stood around $ 2.5 billion in 2017 in which Pakistan’s exports were $ 1.3 billion while imports were $ 1.1 billion. Export products included pharmaceutical, plastic, textile, footwear, aircraft, iron, steel and minerals while import goods included silicon, machinery, vehicles, chemicals and other industrial raw materials.
The Former Minister said that in the backdrop of investment friendly policies in Pakistan, German investors can get benefit of investment in several growing and profitable sectors of the Country including renewable energy, tourism, hotel industry and many more. The Greenfield investment in the Country is exempted from taxes and duties for five years, which is an additional benefit to new investors. The entire world focuses Pakistan natural, mineral and human resources and opportunities in tourism, agriculture and human development. The human and mineral reserves of the Country are sufficient enough to make it an emerging economic hub.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan is unable to get requisite benefit of GSP+ status especially in the highly demanded export oriented goods like textile, leather and agriculture. Govt. needs to implement the recommendations of trade bodies working for the promotion and export growth of specifically these products to boost Country’s exports and curb trade deficit.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the GSP+ status is valid till 2023, meanwhile Government should form GSP export authority with collaboration of experienced and leading manufacturers and traders of export oriented products / services. The authority should be held responsible for providing all requisite facilities to the export oriented sectors like branding, value addition, research, certification, financing and quality control in order to get maximum of GSP+ status and boost Country’s exports to a next level.