Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Turkey to favor Pakistan for GSP+ status in EU

KARACHI: Director General Turkish Foreign Trade Undersecretariat on Monday said that regarding GSP+ in EU, Turkey gave its full support to the case of Pakistan’s trade—despite the fact some members of WTO had concerns over it.

In a meeting at Ankara with President of KCCI Muhammad Saeed Shafiq, Director General Turkish Foreign Trade Undersecretariat, Husnu Dilemre said Pakistan had a request in WTO for EU regarding GSP “and during the last meeting Turkey gave full support to proposal from Pakistan and they believe that this proposal should be assessed,” Dilemre said.

He said despite the fact that EU offer may have some effect on Turkish export to EU, we supported Pakistan being brotherly country.” He further said that both countries have agreed on potential sectors and will extend bilateral support.

He also told that as soon as EU implements its market access offer for Pakistan, Turkey will give the same offer—being member of Customs Union—whereas it is already offering beneficial GSP regime to Pakistan, Soleyman Sozeri, Head of Department DTM Asia-Pacific Economic Affairs, Republic of Turkey/ Prime Ministry/ Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade earlier welcomed the KCCI president and delegation and stated that Pakistan and Turkey have long-standing and deep-rooted relations.

Sozeri said that they understand sensitivity of safeguard measures issue which were proposed to be introduced to all other countries as well—however—goods coming from export processing regime would be exempted. He said that the safeguard measures would not bind Pakistan & Turkey or put a strain on bilateral relationship, that issue will be addressed with mutual understanding, as Turkey was receptive to the concerns of Pakistan. Sozeri further said that 16 percent of Pakistan’s textile export would be regarded under export processing regime. He said that they attach utmost importance to enhance relations and have strong commitment to Pakistan. Best opportunities were available between both countries and KCCI was prominent and influential chamber of Pakistan, he added.

He informed that total export of Pakistan was $370 billion—out of which 6 percent was textile and 2 percent garments. He was of the view that safeguard measures were proposed on request of few chambers on behalf of their members having business injury, however, proposed Customs duty for Pakistan will be lesser than other countries and some products shall also be excluded. He highlighted that in this regard, Pakistan’s Commerce Minister had written letter to his Turkish counterpart and Pakistan’s Ambassador apprised the case to Trade Minister.

Pak-Turkey brotherly relations encompassed on decades and their friendship is time tested as both Nations have love and respect for each other”, stated by Muhammad Saeed Shafiq, President, Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) in his meeting with Husnu Dilemre Director General, Turkish Foreign Trade Undersecretariat, at Ankara. Saeed Shafiq requested to review the move of proposed imposing of safeguard measures contemplated under petition from the local industry. He said that although the proposed safeguard measures were not Pakistan specific and would be applicable across the board. Saeed Shafiq stated “we fully respect the rights of the Turkish government to impose the additional customs duties in response to the demand of its local industry.”

He requested that due to devastating effects of floods and an ailing economy, additional safeguard measures would hurt Pak exports—and as a result it can lead to closure of factories and cause an increase in unemployment. Saeed Shafiq asked if there was any possibility we may get any kind of access from Turkey like EU offered to Pakistan, despite the fact that due to Indian lobby, implementation postponed for some time.


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