Pakistan to make 31.4 percent gain in textile exports under EU scheme: FCCI
November 17, 2012
Mian Zahid Aslam President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) has said that EU has granted 75 items duty-free market access under the Autonomous Trade Concessions (ATCs) till December 31, 2013 of which 26 items originated in Pakistan have been offered under Tariff Regulated Quotas (TRQ) while 49 items have been covered under non-tariff regulated quotas effective from 15th November, 2012 as the package has been notified in the official Journal of EU.
As an increased market access to EU, which is the largest trading partner of Pakistan. Pakistan will make a net gain of 31.4 per cent in export of textiles under the EU Autonomous Preference Scheme, he added. Value of exports for 2011 was $1709 million and under the EU Preference Scheme, the exports are estimated to rise to $2246 million yielding in net increase of 537 million, he added. He asserted that the package will provide real and substantial support to Pakistan’s exports mainly of textile exports to EU.
He continued that EU Preference Scheme was highly beneficial for the business community and urged textile exporters of Faisalabad particularly to make best use of the facility to increase their exports to EU countries. He further stated that by availing these facilities Pakistan will make double gain; firstly, they will avail the quota facilities and increase the volume of their exports and secondly, Pakistan will qualify for further concessions in the year 2014 when this quota region for these items is reviewed.
Chamber Chief however pointed out that trends in both exports and imports indicated contraction in national economy, which could cause serious repercussions for employment, fiscal outcome etc mainly because of shortage of electricity and gas to the industries. Quoting, he said that export growth was negative by 2.3 per cent in the July-September quarter while imports declined by 6 per cent during this period, indicating sluggish economic activities in the country, which could depress the export growth prospects further and put more pressure on the current account.
He continued that in the wake of lesser availability of gas particularly to Faisalabad industries from where about $4 billion exports generated annually to the national textile exports, trade surpluses will hardly be available for exports and apprehended to reap real results of the EU package to Pakistan.
Mian Zahid emphasised that country needs greater diversification in the structure and direction of trade with increased focus on value addition and increased export expansion through regional and new markets like Africa, South America and Islamic world. He urged the government for better market access by concluding FTAs and PTAs with countries of potential markets for Pakistani products and also facilitating towards emerging economic blocks of China and Russia and even neighbouring Indian market of 1.2 billion people.
He pleaded for adopting trade diplomacy which could help gain GSP Plus status for Pakistan in 2014 emphasising also to the exporters for compliance with the relevant rules of origin of products and the procedures related thereto. He also emphasised the need for a well consulted trade policy by the government in this context.
In the same wake he urged the government for policy initiatives to decrease regulatory duty on Pakistan products in EU, Reduction of Tariff and non-tariff barriers, Zero rating on raw material import for re-exports, expansion and streamlining the procedure of export re-finance scheme, concessional finance for exports, R&D support facility to all export sectors, speedy clearance of duty-draw back claims and introduction of export credit guarantee scheme as in India.