January 12, 2022: President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Muhammad Shakeel Munir on Wednesday called upon all the stakeholders to accelerate efforts for maximizing exports under EU’s GSP Plus regime to improve the health of the economy.
He said that Pakistan was holding GSP plus status till the end of 2022 for duty free access for its products into the EU market and its extension beyond 2023 was very important for Pakistan’s export oriented industries, economic growth and expansion of the job market.
He said this while addressing a roundtable conference on “Increased Economic Participation of Women Workers and GSP Plus Status” organized by ICCI in collaboration with Trust for Democratic Education & Accountability (TDEA) and Women Workers Alliance (WWA). Presidents of various key Chambers of Commerce and Industry were also present at the occasion.
Muhammad Shakeel Munir said that Pakistan has secured additional exports in the range of Euro 1 billion to 1.5 billion per annum since 2014, which was not an impressive performance and stressed that our export sector should make more strong efforts to maximize exports to EU countries.
He urged the government to address key issues of exporters and further facilitate them in promoting exports under the GSP Plus regime in order to strengthen Pakistan’s position in the EU market.
He said that the European Commission was reportedly attaching six new conventions, mostly related to greater accessibility for people with physical disability, eradication of child labour and environmental safety for extension of GSP Plus regime.
Therefore, all stakeholders have to put in their best efforts for compliance of all conventions to take maximum benefit of this facility.
He hoped that the roundtable would create more awareness in the participants about GSP Plus and how to maximize its benefits for Pakistan.
He was optimistic that the event would also educate the participants about how a better collaboration between women workers and employers could help to further strengthen Pakistan’s position in the EU market under the GSP Plus regime.
Rukhsana Shama, Deputy Team, Lead Trust for Democratic Education & Accountability (TDEA) deliberated on the introduction and objectives of GSP Plus and how it was important for economic growth of Pakistan.
She also highlighted the issues being faced by the women workers and called for their urgent redress to increase their participation in the workforce.
The representative of Women Workers Alliance (WWA) shared the roadmap for increased participation of women workers. Tauseef Zaman Former Senior Vice President ICCI highlighted the issues of employers and presented recommendations for enhanced participation of women workers to improve economic growth of the country. A draft joint statement by Women Workers and Employers was also finalized at the occasion.