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GSP Plus is an opportunity for Balochistan to Enhance Trade Base and to Improve Human Rights Record

Mir Behram Baloch

Quetta: GSP plus is an opportunity for Balochistan to enhance trade base and to improve human rights record, experts sated in a briefing session on Thursday.

The briefing session on ‘Pakistan’s GSP+ Status, Trade Benefits and Compliance Obligations’ was  jointly organized by Democracy Reporting International (DRI) and Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Experts in a briefing session emphasized on the need to enhance Balochistan’s trade base and human rights record using EU’s trade incentive package GSP+. “Stakeholders, however, are required to join hands to devise a joint strategy and work together to improve socioeconomic conditions of the people of Balochstan.” They pointed out

The briefing session was attended by over 40 businessmen and civil society activists including president Quetta Chamber of Commerce Jamal Khan Tarakai, Vice President Balochistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sana Durrani, President Pakistan Workers Federation Lala Sultan Muhammad, Legal Researcher Shail Ansari and DRI’s Provincial Coordinator Saalem Khan Kakar.

Muhammad Rafique offered technical assistance from Democracy Reporting International to formulate stakeholders’ forum and devise joint strategy, aimed to help sustain GSP+ status.

 “EU’s trade facility has resulted in 22% increase of Pakistan’s exports to the EU in 2014, with 82% increase in textile and clothing sectors and 121% in foot wares, despite Pakistani exports has been witnessing an overall decline.” Muhammad Rafique added

Rafique pointed out, “Balochistan government has not established any of the human rights institutions so far while other provinces are taking lead in the establishment of human rights, women rights and child rights institutional mechanisms.”

Establishment and operationalization of human rights institutions is an integral part of GSP+ compliance obligations, he added.

Civil society of Balochistan urged to establish a GSP+ stakeholders’ joint forum and reiterated to provide technical support on compliance obligations which are associated with the EU’s trade incentive package.

Members of the civil society expressed the need to establish human rights mechanisms in the province.

Published in The Balochistan Point on February 13, 2016

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