STORY | Increasing Pakistan’s international competitiveness through the GSP
Mr Rashid Attari, Export/Import Deputy Manager, Kay & Emms (Pvt.) Ltd.
In 2018, Pakistan availed tariff concessions on exports worth 5.885 billion euro out of the total export of 6.739bn euros to EU member states.
The main sectors that benefitted from the GSP+ have been textile and garments, which besides earning foreign exchange for the country, provided employment opportunities, especially to women. The duty-free access has been crucial for Pakistani products to maintain their edge in the EU market.
Increasing exports lead to increasing competitiveness
“As reported by the 'EU's GSP+ Assessment Report 2020, Pakistan was able to considerably enhance its exports to the EU with an increase of 65% between 2013 and 2019” - says Mr Rashid Attari, Export/Import Deputy Manager for Kay & Emms (Pvt.) Ltd, a Pakistani company located in the country’s industrial hub Faisalabad; also known as the “Manchester of Pakistan”. The company founded in 1990 oversees the production of textile goods from knitting to packaging and represents an industry greatly affected by Pakistan’s participation in the GSP+ scheme.
“Through its GSP+ status, Pakistan is eligible to export around 78% of its 4 products free of duty to the EU's 28 member countries. This represents almost 20% of Pakistan's exports globally.” - continues Mr Attari. “In the past, Pakistan has struggled to compete in EU markets because its competitors, such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Morocco, had already secured duty-free access to these markets. As a result of GSP+ status, there is a large number of goods produced in Pakistan that stand to benefit. While clothes and textiles have already greatly benefitted, smaller sectors also have the potential to expand through GSP+.”
Mr Attari reiterates that the GSP status has enabled developing and lower-middle-income countries that possess few production facilities to diversify their trade industries as well as access and compete in markets in developed countries. Mr Attari is firm in his belief that Pakistan can reap further benefits from the GSP+ through increasing and more diversified exports and continue on the path set by its current participation in the scheme. Mr Attari is thus confident about the future and expects that the EU will extend Pakistan’s participation in the GSP+ for another 10 years.
Continue your discussion with us:
- Apart from the textile industry, what other sectors can benefit from the GPS+ in Pakistan, and through that can increase the country’s competitiveness?
- Apart from the GSP, what other factors contributed to Pakistan becoming a regional powerhouse in the textile industry and garment production? How can other GSP beneficiaries use this success story as best practice?
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