Philippine exports to EU up 27%

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine exports to the European Union (EU) expanded 27 percent in the first half of last year as the country started reaping the benefits of the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (EU-GSP+), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

DTI said total exports to EU under the GSP+ amounted to €743 million from January to June last year, while total exports in the previous year under the GSP amounted to €584 million.

“The country’s beneficiary status under the EU-GSP+ is a result of what was a fruitful collaboration among government, the private and labor sectors, and industries. We urge local businesses to continue expanding their market presence and establish a stronger foothold in the EU market,” Trade Secretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said.

The Philippines was granted beneficiary country status under the EU-GSP+ in December 2014, allowing the country to export 6,274 eligible products duty-free access to the EU market.

Prior to attaining the EU-GSP+ status, the Philippines was covered by the regular EU-GSP which provides zero duty to only 2,442 products and reduced tariffs for 3,767 products.

Since its acceptance in the preferential tariff scheme, DTI said it has been conducting stakeholder consultations and information sessions around the country to enable local firms to acquire technical knowledge on rules of origin and knowledge on export product standards under the EU-GSP+.

The EU is ranked as the Philippines’ 4th largest trading partner, 3rd largest import source, and 4th largest export market.

Major exports of the Philippines under the EU-GSP scheme include crude coconut oil, canned tuna, pneumatic tires, spectacle lenses, relays, preserved fruits, board and similar cabinets for electric control or the distribution of electricity, and ballasts for discharge lamps.

“In the three quarters of 2015 alone, the electronics industry’s exports to the EU increased €42.7 million, exports of aircraft and spacecraft parts grew €6.9 million, exports of optical, photo and medical equipment pegged an increase of €9.6 million, while exports of animal/vegetable fats and oil rose to €7.3 million compared to exports during the same period in 2014,” the DTI said.

Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said being a beneficiary of the EU-GSP+ program is an essential achievement of the Philippines’ strategy to sustain and nurture the country’s trade and investment relations with Europe.

The country’s beneficiary status under the GSP+, however, necessitates the ratification and implementation of the 27 international treaties and conventions on human rights, labor rights, environment and governance.


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