Countries and regions
Pakistan is a major beneficiary of the trading opportunities offered by the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP). From 1 January 2014 Pakistan benefits from generous tariff preferences (mostly zero duties on two thirds of all product categories) under the so-called GSP+ arrangement aiming to support sustainable development and good governance. In order to maintain GSP+ Pakistan has to keep ratification and effectively implement 27 core international conventions on human and labour right, environmental protection and good governance.
- The EU being Pakistan's most important trading partner taking 21.2% of Pakistan's total exports.
- EU-Pakistan trade increased by almost 4.7% annually between 2007 and 2011.
- Pakistani exports to the EU are dominated by textiles and clothing as well as leather products. Textiles and clothing account for just under 75% of Pakistan's exports to the EU.
- Pakistan's imports from the EU mainly comprise mechanical and electrical machinery as well as chemical and pharmaceutical products.
EU-Pakistan: Trade in goods
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EU-Pakistan: Trade in services
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EU-Pakistan: Foreign direct investment
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EU and Pakistan
Pakistan's trade preferences
- The EU supports Pakistan's integration into the world economy and its sustainable economic development by granting it GSP+ trade preferences.
- Thanks to GSP+ more than 76% of Pakistan's exports, including textiles and clothing, enter the EU duty and quota free. This represents almost 20% of Pakistan's exports globally. The GSP+ preferences should also help Pakistan diversify its export basket.
- In order to maintain GSP+ Pakistan has to keep ratification and effectively implement 27 core international conventions on human and labour rights, environmental protection and good governance. This is closely monitored by the European Commission and also under a permanent scrutiny by the EU Member States and European Parliament, as well as civil society.
The EU and Pakistan have set up a Sub-Group on Trade to promote the development of two-way trade. The Sub-Group on Trade - set up under the auspices of the EU-Pakistan Joint Commission - is the forum for discussions on trade policy developments more broadly and also aims to tackle individual market access issues which hamper trade between the two parties.
While Pakistan's economy holds considerable potential, high costs of doing business, complex regulation and infrastructure bottlenecks all have a detrimental effect on trade and growth. Pakistan's trade regime and regulatory environment still remain comparatively restrictive.
Textiles and clothing account for around 75% of Pakistan's exports to the EU. While the textiles and clothing industry are the backbone of the Pakistani economy, relying so heavily on one product category carries risks for Pakistan. Trade diversification programmes have been launched by the EU, to reduce the country's reliance on the textiles and clothing sector. The recently granted GSP+ preferences should also support Pakistan's efforts towards diversification.
- As a result, more than 78% of Pakistan's exports enter the EU at preferential rates.
- Around 80% of the textiles and clothing articles imported to the EU from Pakistan enter the EU at a preferential tariff rate. Around a quarter of these imports are bed linen, table linen and toilet and kitchen linen.
- Textiles and clothing account for around 75% of Pakistan's exports to the EU. Pakistani exports to the EU have increased modestly in terms of value – despite the elimination of quotas, including on imports of Chinese textile and clothing products.
However, relying so heavily on one product category carries risks for Pakistan. Trade diversification programmes have been launched by the EU, to reduce the country's reliance on the textiles and clothing sector.
Trading with Pakistan
- Rules and requirements for trading with Pakistan
- The EU is present on the ground in Pakistan
- Trade relations are part of the EU's overall political and economic relations with Pakistan
- Pakistan is a member of the World Trade Organisation