LAHORE: Representatives of textile and leather garments sectors demanded technical and financial support from the government for fully availing the GSP Plus scheme.

The demand came at a public-private dialogue on “Enhancing Competitiveness and Export Potential of Textile and Leather Garments” organised by the International Trade Centre (ITC), Pakistan Institute of Trade And Development (PITAD) and Punjab Industries Department here on Tuesday.

The representatives said that the government should help them in obtaining bank loans for upgrading decades old obsolete technology, make functional state-run technical institutes to get skilled manpower, reduce duty on raw material and import of machinery as well as curb smuggling of finished goods from neighbouring countries like Iran and Afghanistan were some of the demands put forward by the private sector.Additional federal commerce secretary Fazal Abbas Maken and ITC representative Owais Khan talked about the facilities the government was offering to build capacity of the industrial sector.

They urged the participants to focus on increasing productivity as well as competitiveness, and looking beyond the EU market.

EU delegation to Pakistan’s development advisor Roshan Ara stressed that Islamabad needed to increase its compliance with certification regarding quality of goods and environment at production lines to truly benefit from the GPS Plus scheme.

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