Pakistan has recently completed three years of bilateral trade and progress under the European Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Plus scheme. In December 2013, Pakistan was granted the GSP Plus status which gave most of its exports preferential access to EU markets. According to the official EU data, the total export proceeds from EU amounted to €4.79 billion in 2016 which increased to €5.07 billion in 2017.
It was reported lately that there has been an increase in Pakistan’s exports to EU by 6% from January to September 2017. Most of this increase in exports to EU came from UK as Pakistan’s exports to UK surged to €1.02 billion showing a growth of 37.8% during the period under review. This is major cause of concern for many exporters who fear that they might lose their market share in UK following Brexit. However, the British government has repeatedly assured Pakistan that Brexit will not affect the bilateral trade ties of the two countries. “As the UK leaves the EU, we recognize the need to ensure a smooth transition in our trading arrangements. The UK’s firm intention is to maintain these preferences on a bilateral basis, with the generous access to UK markets that it brings,” stated the joint statement issued after trade talks between UK Minister of State for Trade Policy, Greg Hands and Pakistan’s Minister for Commerce and Textile, Muhammad Pervaiz Malik held last year in September.