Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment, Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood went to Twitter yet again to highlight the fact that Pakistan’s exports to the European Union (EU) for the current fiscal year, July to April 2021 have increased 17.4 percent reaching $7.5 billion compared to $6.4 billion same periods in last fiscal year.
According to Mr. Dawood, the major export destination for Pakistani products in Poland, accounting for 23 percent, followed by Sweden and Netherlands accounting for 21 percent, Germany accounting for 19 percent among others.
He said, “EU is a very important market for us, and we greatly appreciate the tireless efforts of our exporters for making this possible under very difficult conditions.”
He commended the efforts of the Ministry of Commerce and trade officers and urged them to provide even greater facilitation to our exporters & Investors.
The future of trade with the EU remains bleak until and unless Pakistan clears the GSP+ review called upon by European Parliament’s resolution on 29 April 2021.
The resolution called for the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to immediately review Pakistan’s eligibility for GSP+ status in the light of certain Islam-related events and whether there is sufficient reason to initiate a procedure for the temporary withdrawal of this status and the benefits that come with it.
In March last year, Pakistan’s GSP+ status was extended till 2022. As a result of this duty-free access available to Pakistan in 27 EU member states, Pakistan’s exports to the EU enhanced from 4.538 billion euros in 2013 (before the GSP-Plus status) to 5.5 billion euros in 2020, registering an increase of 21 percent.
Similarly, Pakistan is to face a plenary hearing in front of the Financial Action Task Force in June to decide on the removal of the country from the grey list. Reportedly, Pakistan has already completed the three points FATF had asked the country to achieve.
Both these International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) have to decide the future of external trade for Pakistan, and thus have an important bearing on how the export sector of Pakistan will fare in the future.