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Khurram Dastgir: Exports to EU will cross $1.2b till end of 2014 due to GSP Plus status

Khurram Dastgir: Exports to EU will cross $1.2b till end of 2014 due to GSP Plus status

KARACHI: The government has set $1 billion additional target to the country’s total exports to the EU, owing to the GSP Plus status since January 2014. However, the country’s exports to cross $1.2 billion till end of year 2014 as $900-million mark has already been achieved in the first nine months.

Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said this while talking to textile exporters during his recent visit to Karachi that the growth in exports to the EU is supporting the overall exports.

According to the EU’s data collection agency – Eurostat, the country’s exports touched additional $770 million in the first eight months. With additional exports of about $140 million in September 2014, the total increase in the EU’s exports have already crossed $900 million from January to September 2014.

Now, one can expect that even if Pakistan adds $100 million monthly, the country can easily touch $1.15 billion during the year.

Dastgir announced that the country’s exports to the EU have reached $5.7 billion in the first nine months (Jan-Sep 2014), up $909.1 million from $4.79 billion in the same period of last year.

The GSP Plus scheme is likely to stay for another nine years, and the situation demands the exporters to invest in finished garments’ business that provides the highest returns.

Pakistan’s textile exports that constitute over 50% of the total exports is effectively stagnant at around $13 billion for the past many years because industrialists are busy producing raw-materials or basic unfinished products that do not fetch desired margins.

With over $19 billion in textile exports, Bangladesh – Pakistan’s main competitor in the textile industry – has already gone too far by investing in quality readymade garments. After China, Bangladesh is the second biggest textile exporter as it has doubled its exports in the last 10 years leaving both its traditional competitors – Pakistan and India – far behind in the competition.