Pakistani exporters can enjoy preferential duties on exports to the European Union (EU) for the next two years as the generalised system of preferences plus (GSP+) scheme has passed smoothly through the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (CIT). Pakistan’s first biennial assessment report of GSP+ benefit was conducted in 2016. The second biennial assessment was conducted in Brussels recently and Commerce Secretary Younus Dagha led the Pakistani delegation.

A statement by the country’s Commerce Ministry said the EU parliament was satisfied on the progress by Pakistan in enacting new laws and hoped that Islamabad would continue to engage with the EU and ensure to bridge implementation gaps during the next two years, according to reports.

The CIT also agreed to discuss upgrading Pakistan from a GSP+ beneficiary to a free trade agreement (FTA) partner in future. A similar FTA offer has been made to India. All these are part of the process of monitoring of compliance of GSP+ for next biennial assessment report for 2018- 2019. The European Commission will send a report to Islamabad in March identifying gaps in the implementation of the conventions. Pakistan will respond to these observations by June.