Sri Lanka to withdraw objections on EU concessions to Pakistan

Sri Lanka to withdraw objections on EU concessions to Pakistan

January 23, 2011   02:52 pm

KARACHI: Sri Lanka has assured Pakistan that it will withdraw objections to the trade concessions offered by the European Union (EU) to Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Federal Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood revealed that “our delegates have met with Sri Lankan officials and they have assured us that they will withdraw objections to the proposal.”

Speaking at a seminar entitled ‘EU trade concessions to the textile industry of Pakistan’ at the Institute of Business Management on Saturday, Mahmood expressed hope that India and Bangladesh will also understand Pakistan’s plight.

In the wake of the recent floods, the EU had announced concessional customs duty for 75 products exported to the bloc from Pakistan. However, the offer is yet to be approved by the European Parliament and it also faces opposition at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had objected to the concessions citing WTO regulations against favourable trade conditions for any country.

The federal secretary explained that next hearing of the issue at the WTO will be held on January 31, adding that the government has stepped up efforts to plead the country’s case.

Mahmood highlighted that Pakistan has paid a heavy price as a frontline state in the war against terror and said that the ongoing fight has taken a toll on the economy and the recent floods added to the quagmire faced by businesses, the Express Tribune reported.

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