March 10, 2024

Trade plays a vital role in driving economic growth, but Pakistan’s trade performance has been volatile, with stagnant export growth and a rising trade deficit. The Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus is offered to a select group of exporters to the European Union (EU) based on a set of pre-defined criteria and the fulfillment of various conventions regarding human rights, labor rights, good governance, climate change and environment protection. Pakistan received the status on January 1, 2014. Pakistan currently is a signatory to all the 27 conventions and is also a signatory to the additional conventions proposed under a new revised scheme that is likely to replace the current one that is expiring at the end of this year. Although, Pakistan is not in imminent danger of losing the preferences awarded to its exporters, uncertainties loom as Pakistan faces challenges that can adversely impact its status. While Pakistan has experienced growth in trade with the EU during the GSP Plus period, it is imperative that the exporters continue to receive the preferences. To fully exploit trade potential and effectively compete with counterparts, it is essential to assess the trade patterns. This report undertakes a comprehensive exercise to not only determine the trading patterns with the EU but also bring forward recommendations that can help boost Pakistan’s exports to the EU and to the world.