Islamabad: Even as Pakistan struggles to comply with existing EU conventions of GSP Plus status, the 27-member bloc plans to introduce five or six new conventions related to environment and social standards.

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Plus is set to end in 2023 and a mission is preparing the final report of the last decade to be discussed in the European Union Parliament, which will decide about the continuation of the scheme, Daily Times reported.

The report adds that GSP Plus status holds significant importance for Pakistan's economy as it has played a key role in the expansion of multilateral trade.

Addressing a meeting at Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) in Faisalabad last week, EU envoy to Pakistan Riina Kionka has said EU-Pakistan relations have a strategic engagement that covers all the areas including counter-terrorism, trade, climate change, GSP Plus status and various others.

She informed that the continuity of GSP Plus is subject to ratification of more than five to six new conventions related to environment and social standards including the remaining 27.

The EU envoy said the existing GSP plus scheme is confined to the textile sector which should be spread to the other sectors as well, Daily Times reported.

Kionka's comments come following the 12th European Union (EU) - Pakistan Joint Commission that took place on October 5 in Islamabad which saw the exchange of views on all areas of cooperation between the EU and Pakistan.

The two sides emphasised the importance of trade relations and noted that the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) increased bilateral trade to EUR 12.2 billion in 2021. They discussed ways to address issues hampering trade and investment.

The EU stressed the effective implementation of the 27 international conventions related to GSP+; Pakistan reiterated its firm commitment in this regard.