Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar said on Tuesday that a new scheme replaced the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) to help drive business between Pakistan and the United Kingdom (UK), reducing the country’s need for aid.
According to a press release, the UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) had now entered into effect, providing simpler terms of trade to Pakistan, removing tariffs on over 156 additional products, and simplifying some seasonal tariffs.
Some of the specific goods which benefited the most from the DCTS in Pakistan, include over £ 250 million ($320 million) of average annual exports to the UK of bed linen and almost £100 million of jeans which would each receive a 12% reduction in import duty.
The DCTS covers 37 countries in Africa and 26 in Asia, Oceania and Middle East, and two in the Americas. The scheme was announced last year, and legislation has since been finalised to bring it into force.
Syed Naveed Qamar’s visit to the UK this month was vital to bring the DCTS into effect for Pakistan. The total volume of trade in goods and services between the UK and Pakistan each year currently stands at £4.4 billion ($5.63 billion).
It is expected that £120 million ($153.6 million) in tariffs will be saved on exports to the UK under the scheme. The international trading system through the UK’s Trade Centre of Excellence, will provide specialist support for participating in the global trading system.
“This important new scheme will further strengthen the economic ties between our two great countries, helping Pakistan to boost its exports to the UK and benefit from the power of trade for development”, Qamar said in a statement.