ISLAMABAD : Federal Minister for Commerce and Textile Industry Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Monday the GSP Plus status given by the European Union would raise Pakistan’s exports by $1billion annually and it was a big development towards realizing the slogan of `trade not aid. The Generalized System of Preference Plus (GSP+) provided concessions on about 6,000 tariff lines, while Pakistan had currently around 150 tariff lines currently. This was an opportunity as well as a challenge for the government and exporters to enhance their export products, he said addressing a press conference here.

Khurram said, “This is an opportunity as well as a challenge for the government and traders to diversify their export basket and expand their capacity to boost exports.” It was now up to the exporters that how could they exploit the opportunity arisen due to the GSP Plus status, he added.

All the export consignments to European markets would be treated according to the GSP scheme from January 1, 2014, when it would come into effect, he said.

The Commerce Minister said the government was encouraging the industrialists and exporters to take benefit of the scheme. The textile manufacturers could particularly exploit the scheme if they switched to garment making, he added. He said less energy was consumed by garment industry with a lot of jobs.

particularly for women. This would not only help overcome job problems but also empower women, he remarked.

Khurram said there was a need for diversification in agro food processing, pharmaceutical and leather garments.


e said timely and coordinated efforts by the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Commerce, his visits and those of Punjab Chief Minister of the European Union countries, and lobbying by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar helped earn the GSP+ Status for the country.