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EU trade office team visits APTMA to review benefits of GSP facility

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-05-15 12:00:00 – Lahore

A delegation of the European Union trade office of generalised system of preferences (GSP) program led by Director General Marc Vanheukelen and Acting EU Ambassador HE Stefano Gatto visited All Pakistan Textile Mills Association to review the benefits of GSP plus facility to Pakistan and the progress done on implementation of social standards related to labour and environment laws.

APTM A Punjab Chairman Sheikh Muhammad Akbar welcoming the delegation said that the textile exports have started showing progress in the EU market because of the generalised system of preferences plus facility. Pakistan textile exports increased by 24 percent in volume and 30 percent in value terms from January to December 2014 in apparel products.

But the growth pattern does not commensurate with the potential of the industry due to productivity constraints, particularly the energy. However, various solutions for the availability of energy at regionally competitive tariff are being worked out by the government and the industry as well.

APTMA and the GIZ launched a series of initiatives including energy conservation, use of renewable energy, water conservation, material flow management and implementation of social standards in Punjab-based garment industry.

He said that APTMA was also working on better cotton initiative with best practices covering lesser use of water and pesticides.

Association's Convenor International Trade Aamir Fayyaz Sheikh made a detailed presentation on sustainability and way forward for the textile industry under enhanced market access and explained the state of the textile industry in Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Director DG trade office GSP program Marc Vanheukelen appreciated the efforts of APTMA for the compliance of the industry he explained that in January 2016, and every two years thereafter, the Commission shall present to the European Parliament and to the Council a report on the status of ratification of the relevant conventions. He said that they are witnessing a change in Pakistan and things are now getting better, legislations are there with the sense of willingness.

Their main focus is on implementation of human rights including labour right, child labour, women right on floor level, gender balances, OHAS standards, and unionization.

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