UK to continue special trade concessions for Pakistan post-Brexit

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Published: September 19, 2017 2:17:02 AM

The UK today pledged to continue special trade concessions for Pakistan through Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP +) even after leaving the European Union.

UK, European Union, Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus, GSP, PakistanThe UK today pledged to continue special trade concessions for Pakistan through Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP +) even after leaving the European Union.(Image: Reuters)

The UK today pledged to continue special trade concessions for Pakistan through Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP +) even after leaving the European Union.  The UK said this in a statement issued by British High Commission here after a meeting between UK Minister for Trade Policy Greg Hands and Pakistan’s Minister of Commerce Muhammad Pervaiz Malik.  “As the UK leaves the EU, we recognise the need to ensure a smooth transition in our trading arrangements. The UK’s firm intention is to maintain these preferences (under GSP +) on a bilateral basis, with the generous access to UK markets that it brings,” the statement said.

It said that while the UK is still a member of the EU, it will continue to support Pakistan to benefit from the EU’s GSP+ scheme, while in return Pakistan pledges to continue to make progress to improve human rights, labour rights, environment and good governance in line with the commitments made as part of the GSP+ scheme.  The UK will also help Pakistan break down barriers to trade, and to use the opportunities this brings to create jobs and reduce poverty.  “We will do this through our trade policies, and through links between businesses in both countries. Currently, the UK supports Pakistan through the EU’s trade preference scheme GSP+. This arrangement encourages economic growth and sustainable development in Pakistan. It also helps business and consumers in Britain,” the UK pledged.

Currently, the UK supports Pakistan through the EU’s trade preference scheme GSP+. This arrangement encourages economic growth and sustainable development in Pakistan. It also helps business and consumers in Britain,” the UK pledged.  It said Pakistan and the UK enjoy a shared history and a shared future.  “At this pivotal moment, marking 70 years of diplomatic relations, we reconfirm our ambition to build shared prosperity between our two countries.”

It said with more than 200 million consumers, Pakistan is an exciting market for British business.  It said that to support UK companies exporting to Pakistan and for Pakistani buyers of UK goods and services, the UK export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), support is to more than double to up to 400 million pounds, meaning an additional 200 million pounds to help UK exporters win, fulfil and get paid for export contracts, and Pakistan’s buyers access finance to source high-quality UK goods and services.

Both governments are ambitious, to see more British trade and investment in Pakistan, as well as Pakistani businesses exporting to and operating in the UK.  “From textiles to pharmaceuticals, engineering and sporting goods, to finance, legal or business services, Pakistan has huge potential in the global economy. We are committed to work with businesses in both countries to strengthen these ties into the future,” the statement said.

The GSP Plus is an instrument of EU trade policy which gives access to market in return of compliance for international standards in the areas of human rights, labour rights, environmental protection and good governance.
Officials said that Pakistan’s exports to the UK and EU increased over 35 per cent in the past three years, mainly due to GSP Plus.

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