New UK trade scheme to benefit Philippines

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — UK is hoping to see an increase in bilateral trade with the Philippines in the next five to six years, with the latter set to benefit from a new trade preference scheme to be launched by the British government.

UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the Philippines Richard Graham said in a media roundtable that more can be done to increase bilateral trade between the UK and the Philippines.

He said bilateral trade between the two countries went up by more than 30 percent last year to £2.3 billion.

“I very much hope in the next five, six years, we’ll see that figure grow quite sharply and get bilateral trade over £3 billion a year,” he said.

He said the UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), to be launched in June, is expected to generate more trade between the two countries.

The DCTS, which will be replacing the UK’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences, aims to improve access to the UK market for developing countries like the Philippines.

“The new DCTS, which will go live this summer, is designed to reduce the costs of Philippine exports by about 10 percent,” Graham said.

He said 150 product lines will benefit from tariff changes under the new scheme.

Aside from reduced tariffs, the DCTS will simplify the trade process.

Graham said the UK government has started talks with government agencies in the Philippines such as the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Agriculture on the new scheme.

“This is a useful step forward in the trading relationship,” he said.

He also said the UK is keen on opportunities to work with the Philippines in the areas of aviation, pharmaceuticals, and renewable energy.

Graham’s official visit to the country from April 24 to 27 was part of the UK government’s commitment to deepen its trade relationship with the Philippines.

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