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Press Release
Talks on GSP+ between Nicolas Schmit and the Pakistani Minister for Trade

Date of release : 19-01-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

In his capacity as representative of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Nicolas Schmit, received the Pakistani Minister for Trade, Humayun Akhtar Khan, on 19 January 2005.

The effects of the future Generalised System of Preferences GSP+ on exports from Pakistan to the European Union featured on the agenda.

Since 2002, Pakistan has benefited from the GSP drugs regime. In December 2003, however, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) decided that the preferences the EU affords to 12 countries within the framework of the GSP drugs regime to combat the cultivation of plants used to produce drugs discriminated against other developing countries. Following the WTO’s decision, the EU must abolish the GSP drugs regime by 1 July 2005, in time for the introduction of the new GSP+ regime.

The Pakistani Minister for Trade outlined to the Luxembourg Presidency the problematic consequences the Commission’s proposal for the new GSP+ regime will have on Pakistan’s economy.

The Minister Delegate Nicolas Schmit stated at the end of the meeting: "I have a lot of understanding and sympathy for Pakistan’s position. It is important for this country to continue to benefit from privileged access to our markets within the framework of the GSP. The economic development of countries such as Pakistan is essential for global political stability and the prevention of terrorism."

This page was last modified on : 19-01-2005

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