East of England MEP welcomes recent developments at the WTO to help Pakistan flood victims.
Brussels, 10th November 2011 - Robert Sturdy, East of England MEP, has welcomed news that India has withdrawn its opposition to EU Proposals aimed at helping Pakistan recover from last year’s devastating flood which continues to affect some 20 million people.India had been opposed to the suspension of import duties on key Pakistani imports.
On the 16th of September 2011, the European Council, led by David Cameron agreed on a package of measures to help Pakistan recover from the flood, including additional humanitarian assistance and an increase of Pakistan’s market access to the EU. These measures, drafted by the Commission, eliminated tariffs on 75 product lines covering 27% of Pakistan’s exports to the EU, all with the aim of boosting Pakistan’s exports by €100m per year.
Although the removal of the Indian veto eliminates a major obstacle to the implementation of the EU proposals, Bangladesh has signalled that it is still opposed to the measures. Under WTO rules, all countries must agree to these temporary preferences for them to come into effect.
Robert Sturdy, Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee and a major supporter of these measures in the European Parliament, said:
“The news that India has removed its opposition is encouraging, especially as EU and India negotiators are currently working to draft a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. The withdrawal of their opposition to these much needed measures sends a strong signal that they are indeed committed to free and fair trade in the interest of development.”
“These proposals are designed to help some of the poorest people in Pakistan recover from a major natural catastrophe for a two year period. The sooner that they are implemented the better”
For further information contact: Robert Sturdy MEP– firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 01954 211790 or 0032 2284 7294