ISLAMABAD: In an explicit outcome of the GSP+ facility, Spain has emerged as the third biggest destination for Pakistan’s exports proceeds during the financial year 2016-17, Pakistan’s Commercial Counsellor to Spain Dr Muhammad Hamid Ali said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the commercial counsellor said Pakistan’s exports to Spain surged to $934.03 million in 2016-17, up 5.43 per cent from $886.72m from the same period last year.

“This is the highest ever increase in Pakistan’s exports to Spain. Prior to the GSP+ facility, the country’s exports to Spain were $564.402m,” the statement said.

The GSP+ facility was instrumental in boosting the country’s exports to the European nation

The growth in exports is despite Spain’s high unemployment rate, low wages, fall in purchasing power, decline in domestic demand and shrinkage in non-essential imports (including textile and clothing), the commercial counsellor noted.

“Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Spain is on an upward trajectory. We are hoping to reach the $1 billion export mark very soon. The balance of trade is heavily tilted in favor of Pakistan in an overall value of $656.71m for 2016-17,” Dr Ali added.

Grupo Cortefiel, one of Europe’s primary fashion companies, is launching two branches of Women’s Secret in Lahore and Karachi this month, the statement said. Furthermore, the Embassy of Pakistan, Madrid, Spain is working along with Ministry of Commerce, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and other stakeholders to improve Pakistan’s exports to Spain, the statement added.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2017