To the question of Senator Fida Mohammad, the Commerce Secretary apprised the Standing Committee on Commerce, which met here at Parliament House on Thursday under the Chairmanship of Senator Zeeshan Khanzada, that being on the grey list had not any negative concussion on Pakistan's exports. Due to the lack of banking channels with Iran, there exist some issues in trading with Tehran. The barter trade issue with Iran has been resolved, he informed. An agreement has been reached with Iran regarding barter trade, he added further. He said that barter trade with Iran would start in a month.
Commerce Adviser, Razzaq Dawood briefed the Committee on GSP Plus status( Generalised Scheme of Preferences). He noted that Pakistan's exports to Europe have reached 9 billion dollars.
The Commerce Adviser informed the committee that the European Union (EU) was assuaged with Pakistan’s implementation of the GSP Plus terms. Pakistan had kowtowed with most of the 27 conventions. He underlined that Pakistan had already addressed issues like eradication of Child Labour, Freedom of Speech, Rights of journalists, Rights of Women, and others as per assigned indicators.
He asserted that the EU asked for expanding the range of exports to European markets but exports to the EU have not inflated as they should have because of weaknesses of our exporters.
While responding to a question asked by the Chairman Committee, Abdul Razzaq Dawood remarked that under GSP Plus, 66% of Pakistan's tariff lines were on zero duties. EU exports increased by 47%, he said, adding that trade with the EU is in Pakistan's interest.
For maximum participation of all members and inclusive discussion, the detailed deliberation on GSP plus status and briefing by the Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute (PCSI) were recessed for the next meeting.
The Commerce Adviser also lauded the role of the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce in passing the (Geographical Indications) GI Act.
Apart from Senator Fida Mohammad, Senator Saleem Mandviwala, the commerce Adviser Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Secretary Commerce, Additional Secretary Commerce, and officials from Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute attended the meeting.