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EU-Pakistan bilateral trade relations are governed by the Cooperation Agreement from 2004. Enhancing bilateral trade and investment is also part of the EU-Pakistan 5-year Engagement Plan from 2012.

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.

Trade picture

  • The EU is Pakistan's second most important trading partner, accounting for 14.3% of Pakistan's total trade in 2020 and absorbing 28% of Pakistan's total exports.
  • In 2020, Pakistan was the EU's 42nd largest trading partner in goods accounting for 0.3% of EU trade.
  • Pakistani exports to the EU are dominated by textiles and clothing, accounting for 75.2% of Pakistan's total exports to the EU in 2020.
  • Pakistan's imports from the EU are mainly comprised of machinery and transport equipment (33.5% in 2020) as well as chemicals (22.2% in 2020).
  • From 2010 to 2020, EU27 imports from Pakistan have almost doubled from €3 072 to €5 537 million. The growth of imports from Pakistan has been particularly fast since the award of GSP+ (€5 515 million in 2014).

EU-Pakistan: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2018-2020, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2018 5.5 4.8 -0.7
2019 6.1 4.8 -1.3
2020 5.5 3.8 -1.7

EU-Pakistan: Trade in services

Trade in services 2017-2019, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2017 0.5 1.0 0.4
2018 0.6 1.2 0.6
2019 0.6 1.1 0.5

EU-Pakistan: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2019, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2019 -0.2 3.2 3.4

Unless otherwise mentioned “EU” concerns for all indicated years the current European Union of 27 Member States.

Date of retrieval: 12/04/2021

More statistics on Pakistan

EU and Pakistan

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 over 80% of Pakistan's exports to the EU. While the textiles and clothing industry are the backbone of Pakistani exports, relying so heavily on one product category carries risks for Pakistan. Trade diversification would play an essential role in this respect. The granting of GSP+ preferences in 2014 should stimulate Pakistan's efforts towards diversification.

  • As a result of GSP+, 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.

Trading with Pakistan