While the European Union (EU) trade preferences for Pakistan passed the test in the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade, the final decision is still pending.
According to a press release on Thursday from the EU Delegation to Pakistan, on November 5, 2013, the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament (INTA) voted against a resolution objecting to the European Commission's delegated act on Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP Plus) proposing special trade preferences to ten applicant countries, including Pakistan.
The INTA Committee's vote could pave the way to the entry of Pakistan into GSP plus but the release clarified that it is not decisive since there is still the possibility that a negative resolution could presented before the European Parliament's plenary session to be held in the second week of December 2013.
The EU press release comes a day after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan, said the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament approved the Single Delegated Act which aims to give greater trade access to ten countries, including Pakistan. The Single Delegated Act will now be approved by the European Parliament in December 2013. After approval by the European Parliament, the Act will come into effect from 1 of January 2014.
For such a plenary vote to take place at least 40 Members of the European Parliament must request a formal vote and the vote against the European Commission's proposal must be an absolute majority; that is 384 votes of a total of 766 Members of the European Parliament, the EU said.
The EU Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, was quoted as saying that if the trade preferences were granted it will have a very positive effect on Pakistan's trade with the EU and create new opportunities for Pakistani companies as well as jobs.
However, he said if GSP plus is granted to Pakistan by the end of this year it will be essential that all the 27 conventions on human rights, labour standards, environment and good governance, which are part of this system for special trade preferences, are fully implemented by the country.
Keywords: EU-Pak trade ties