EU interested in investing in CPEC but calls for ‘transparency’ and labour laws implemention

European Union’s ambassador to Pakistan, Androulla Kaminara. (AN Photo by Aamir Saeed)

The European Union’s ambassador in Pakistan has said Islamabad should ensure the implementation of labor laws in special economic zones being set up under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

After that, European businesses would also come forward to invest in the $60 billion agreement with Beijing to build energy and infrastructure projects.

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Western officials have repeatedly criticized CPEC, saying the project is not sufficiently transparent and will hamper Pakistan with the burden of expensive Chinese loans. 

“Any investment to a country that can lead to jobs is a good thing,” Androulla Kaminara, ambassador of the EU to Pakistan, told Arab News in an interview last week.

“What we want to ensure is that there isn’t a backtracking of the rights of the workers or environmental protection in specific economic zones.”

The ambassador said the EU would want transparency, predictability, and information about the laws and see how long tax breaks would be applicable in the strategic economic zone to invest in Pakistan. 

“More transparency and more predictability on these types of things will attract investments here,” she said.

On a separate note, Kaminara said the EU had urged the Pakistan government to limit the number of crimes that carried the death penalty.

This is part of the country’s obligations under the GSP-Plus status that has helped the country boost its exports from 4.5 billion euros in 2014 to 7.5 billion euros last year.

EU calls for ‘transparency’ in CPEC economic zones to attract European investment

#WATCH: EU seeks transparency on labor laws in #Pakistan to enable European companies to invest in the country, including in #CPEC projects, says Androulla Kaminara, ambassador of the EU to Pakistan.–Read:

Posted by Arab News Pakistan on Monday, March 8, 2021

The Inter­national Trade (INTA) Com­mittee of EU Parliament last year extended the Genera­lized System of Preferences-Plus (GSP-Plus) status granted to Pakistan in 2014.

This enables the country to enjoy preferential duties on exports for the next two years.

The EU’s GSP removes import duties from products coming into the EU market from vulnerable developing countries to alleviate poverty and create jobs.

Pakistan has 33 crimes that carry the death penalty and over 4,000 people on death row.

“So obviously, we would like to see some addressing of this issue,” Kaminara said, adding: “We don’t prescribe as to where the death penalty should be.”

Androulla Kaminara

#WATCH: #Pakistan should limit the number of crimes that lead to the death penalty,” European Union’s ambassador in #Pakistan, Androulla Kaminara said in an exclusive interview to #ArabNewsPK.-Read:

Posted by Arab News Pakistan on Monday, March 8, 2021

Pakistan’s GSP-Plus status has been extended till 2022.

However, the country has to ensure tangible improvement in its human rights and labor laws’ record to enjoy preferential incentives. 

The EU accounts for at least 33% of Pakistan’s total global exports, composed mainly of textile and leather products.

The EU published its last report on Pakistan’s progress on the 27 UN conventions in February 2020, citing “mixed progress.”

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • we have to standardize and implement complete compliance with international standards on a priority basis

  • Leave EU on side, dont worry about their rules and regulations, sooner or later they will come on the terms laid by China & Pakistan. They are nothing, they dont have enough manpower to run their industry. They need CPEC.

  • We have to regulate this. If the EU market gives us access man it will change the face of Pakistan.

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