Belgian ambassador advises Pakistan to apply for New GSP Plus rules

Belgian ambassador advises Pakistan to apply for New GSP Plus rules


KARACHI: Belgian Ambassador Charles Delogne, during his farewell visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), highlighted that Pakistan needs to apply for new GSP Plus rules soon. Even though the current GSP Plus agreement with the EU has been extended until 2027, new rules will start earlier. The business community should alert the government about this change.

GSP Plus is an EU agreement that requires countries to follow rules on human rights, labor rights, and environmental protection. This is crucial for Pakistan, which is heavily affected by climate change. Delogne mentioned that the GSP Plus has helped make the EU Pakistan’s main trading partner, with balanced trade between Belgium and Pakistan in 2023.

KCCI President Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh said Pakistan is dedicated to the GSP Plus agreement, with exports to the EU reaching over $8 billion in 2023. Belgium is a significant trade partner, with exports worth $405 million from July 2023 to March 2024. Sheikh suggested that Belgium could explore joint ventures in sectors like mining, energy, agriculture, IT, and tourism to boost trade.

Sheikh also emphasized learning from Belgium’s ports and shipping expertise to improve Pakistan’s port capabilities. Simplifying customs and making business easier were suggested to reduce trade barriers.

Furthermore, Sheikh proposed creating educational links between the two countries to strengthen Pakistani universities. He also identified potential areas for joint ventures, such as automobiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, machinery, textiles, and tourism.