A Dawn.com story:

Pakistani exports to the European Union increased by more than a billion dollars after a landmark trade deal last year which made its products more competitive, the minister for commerce said.

The EU signed a law in late 2013 granting Pakistan the `GSP-plus’ status, which means firms pay no tax on certain categories of goods exported to the 27-nation bloc for 10 years.

The EU makes GSP-plus conditional on implementing international conventions on human and labour rights, and there have been fears Pakistan’s decision to end a moratorium on executions could affect the deal.

Pakistan’s textile industry in particular welcomed the agreement, which came into force in January 2014, and in an interview Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan hailed its impact.

“As a result of GSP-plus, Pakistan’s exports to the EU have increased by $1.08 billion during the period January to October 2014 as compared to the same period in 2013,” Mr Khan said.

Exports to the EU in Jan-Oct 2014 totalled $6.38bn, up by just over 20 per cent from the $5.3bn recorded in the corresponding period in 2013, he said.

Before GSP-plus, textile exports faced customs tariffs of between 6.4 and 12pc and leather goods and footwear up to 6pc, he said.

The textile industry makes up more than 50pc of the country’s total overseas shipments. “Now these exports have duty-free access in EU and it has helped Pakistani products to become more competitive vis-a-vis its competitors, including Bangladesh, India and Vietnam,” he said.

Read rest of the story here.A Dawn.com story:

Pakistani exports to the European Union increased by more than a billion dollars after a landmark trade deal last year which made its products more competitive, the minister for commerce said.

The EU signed a law in late 2013 granting Pakistan the `GSP-plus’ status, which means firms pay no tax on certain categories of goods exported to the 27-nation bloc for 10 years.

The EU makes GSP-plus conditional on implementing international conventions on human and labour rights, and there have been fears Pakistan’s decision to end a moratorium on executions could affect the deal.

Pakistan’s textile industry in particular welcomed the agreement, which came into force in January 2014, and in an interview Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan hailed its impact.

“As a result of GSP-plus, Pakistan’s exports to the EU have increased by $1.08 billion during the period January to October 2014 as compared to the same period in 2013,” Mr Khan said.

Exports to the EU in Jan-Oct 2014 totalled $6.38bn, up by just over 20 per cent from the $5.3bn recorded in the corresponding period in 2013, he said.

Before GSP-plus, textile exports faced customs tariffs of between 6.4 and 12pc and leather goods and footwear up to 6pc, he said.

The textile industry makes up more than 50pc of the country’s total overseas shipments. “Now these exports have duty-free access in EU and it has helped Pakistani products to become more competitive vis-a-vis its competitors, including Bangladesh, India and Vietnam,” he said.

Read rest of the story here.