FAISALABAD: Ambassador of the European Union (EU) Jean Francois Cautain said on Monday that Pakistan had showcased a number of good stories in respect of trade enhancement after GSP plus incentives, however there was still a lot of potential to increase the trade volume.
The EU is in process to finalize new engagement plan to further strengthen the relations between Pakistan and EU.
Addressing the members of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association
(PTEA) here, he said that relations between EU and Pakistan had reached a mature level which needed to be strengthened further. The EU had adopted a 5-year Engagement Plan in 2012, which had broadened and deepened the relationship between the European Union and Pakistan.
“We are finalizing a new engagement plan to further strengthen the relationship, he said and added the EU was reviewing the progress on implementation of 27th UN conventions pertaining to human rights, labour rights, climate change, narcotics control and corruption. This review is a part of the scheme which monitors progress in terms of the convention and then submits a country report to the EU parliament, he added. Responding to a question, EU Ambassador appreciated the Pakistan’s efforts of fighting against terrorism and assured full cooperation in portraying the soft image of Pakistan in EU countries. In addition, he highlighted various initiatives that had been taken by the European Union to help in the economic development of Pakistan.
Earlier, PTEA Chairman Shaiq Jawed briefed the EU Ambassador about progress of textile industry and highlighted the prospects of future increase of textile exports to the EU. He termed Europe as major export destination for Pakistan and largest trading partner.
He thanked the EU for duty-free access that had opened new avenues of opportunities. GSP plus incentives helped Pakistan to build up its capacity to become more effective and competitive partner in international economics, he said. Not only Pakistan’s market share has increased but exports to EU have also jumped from 4.54 billion Euro in 2013 to 6.29 billion Euros in 2016, he said. Textile export sector, the major beneficiary of duty waiver facility, also gained significant momentum with 55% increase; especially in home textile products with 60 percent increase. He expressed the desire that duty free access should remain continue.
Later, PTEA shield was presented to the EU Ambassador.
A large number of textile exporters including former Chairmen PTEA Sheikh Mukhtar Ahmad, Faiq Jawed and Ajmal Farooq were present on the occasion.