LAHORE - Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) north zone senior vice chairman Jawwad Chaudhary has welcomed European Parliament decision to grant duty free market access to Pakistan, terming it a big success for Pakistan and good sign for the country’s exporting industry.

Jawwad said that this is a great opportunity for the clothing sector of Pakistan and hoped that exporters would increase the per unit value of their already successful products to share the zero rating facility benefits with the European buyers and all credit in this regard goes to Punjab Governor Ch Sarwar who strong lobbying lead us to the victory, he added.  Jawwad said that approval of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by European Parliament has proved that all international conventions relating to human and labor rights, environment and good governance have been implemented by the Pakistan to the satisfaction of the European Parliament.

He expressed hope that the textile and garment units which are running under capacity would soon start running at full capacity and thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the EU Munawar Bhatti and leaders of different parties in the EU parliament, for their efforts to secure the granting of GSP Plus status.  He said that Pakistani manufacturers and exporters were finding it hard to compete with countries like Bangladesh etc who already had duty-free access to European markets and were getting 11.5 per cent and above tariff cuts. “Pakistan can earn an additional 500million to a billion dollars per year through GSP Plus status,” he said, adding that the facility would provide duty free access to 3,500 products. The PRGMEA leader, on this occasion, also appealed to the government to improve the supply of gas and electricity to the textile industry in order to realize the full potential of GSP-Plus.

PRGMEA north zone chief said that exporters from various industries in Pakistan were anxiously hoping for access to European markets, which promises huge potential for multiplying the country’s current exports. “The EU’s GSP Plus Scheme would not only further strengthen our trade relations with the member countries of the European Union but would also significantly help strengthening our economy through greater trade, generation of economic opportunities and creation of more jobs for the people.”