ISLAMABAD: Bilateral trade between Pakistan and the European Union went up by 78 per cent to €12.2 billion in 2021 from €6.9bn in 2013, mainly due to implementation of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus scheme from January 2014.

The commerce ministry has released an analysis, which shows that the GSP Plus scheme is a mutually beneficial arrangement leading to an increase in trade with 28-member EU states. In December 2013, the EU parliament enacted a legislation that put in place the GSP scheme for 2014-23.

According to official data, Pakistan’s exports to the EU countries posted a growth of 86pc to €6.64bn in the calendar year 2021 from €3.31bn in 2013.

At the same time, the exports of EU to Pakistan also edged up by 69pc to €5.59bn in 2021 from €3.31bn in 2013.

Germany has emerged as a leading exporter to Pakistan in 2021 to €1.33bn from €832.8m in 2013, an increase of 60pc, followed by Belgium €866.1m from €357m, an increase of 143pc, Italy €754.1m from €430.3m, an increase of 75pc, the Netherlands €672.9m from €325m, an increase 107pc and Spain €359.4m from €142.9m, an increase of 152pc.

The exports of Sweden to Pakistan increased by 32pc in 2021 to €234.4m from €177.5m, Australia 131pc to $160.7m from €69.6m, Poland 24pc to €126.2m from €101.7m, Finland €108.7m from €35.5m and Denmark €108m from €59.9m.

Since 2013, the EU exports to Pakistan have increased substantially in many sectors, including machinery and electrical equipment 49pc to €1.57bn in 2021 from €1.05bn, an increase of 114pc in iron & steel to €525m from €245m, pharmaceuticals 143pc to €642m from €264m, plastics 79pc to €166m from €93m and medical measuring instruments 45pc to €252m from €174m.

Pakistan’s top trade destination in the EU is Germany where its exports were recorded at €1.61bn, followed by €884.82m to Spain, €806.02m to the Netherlands, €763.51m to Italy, €626.31m to France and €455.91m to Belgium.

Pakistan’s exports to 12 EU member states have increased by more than 100pc since 2013. Country’s exports went up to Poland by 332pc, Hungary (245pc), Bulgaria (242pc), Denmark (189pc), Czech Republic (195pc), Ireland (177pc), Cyprus (134pc), Romania (128pc), Portugal (117pc), Spain (108pc), Slovenia (105pc) and the Netherlands (103pc).

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2022

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