Pakistan’s exports to EU decline 7% despite GSP+ status

Islamabad: In the first eight months of the current fiscal year, Pakistan’s exports to European Union (EU) countries experienced a 6.89% decline, falling to $5.411 billion from $5.812 billion in the same period last year.

This downturn has been observed despite Pakistan enjoying Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status, which allows for duty-free or minimal duty access to the EU market for most of its products.

The State Bank of Pakistan reports indicate that the drop in exports is largely attributable to decreased demand for Pakistani goods across western, southern, and northern Europe.

Notably, Western Europe, including key countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, and Belgium, which collectively form a significant market for Pakistan’s exports to the EU, saw a notable 13.2% decrease in imports from Pakistan.

The export value to this region amounted to $2.609 billion, down from $3.006 billion in the corresponding months of the previous year.

Conversely, Eastern Europe emerged as a bright spot, with an 8.2% increase in exports from Pakistan, totaling $407.6 million compared to $376.68 million in the prior year.

Southern Europe’s exports slightly declined by 1.1% to $1.971 billion, while northern Europe witnessed a 3.04% decrease to $423.732 million.

In the context of Brexit, Pakistan’s exports to the United Kingdom saw a slight improvement, increasing by 1.65% to $1.351 billion from $1.329 billion.

This positive shift comes after a 10.63% decrease in the previous fiscal year and amidst assurances from the British government of continued preferential market access for Pakistan post-Brexit.