November 24, 2023
The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) welcomed EU Parliament and Council's support for the renewal of the European Union Generalized System of Preferences (EU GSP+) for another four years, citing the significant benefits it provides to Filipino firms.
“The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) welcomes the recent positive developments regarding the extension of the EU GSP+. We appreciate the European Parliament supporting the European Commission's proposal to renew the scheme for another four years,” ECCP stated via an email on Thursday, Nov. 23.
ECCP said that it has been a strong advocate of the GSP+ scheme renewal, as it benefits numerous European and Filipino firms.
Meanwhile, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual, who also welcomed the EU’s decision, emphasized that the constructive dialogues within the GSP+ framework paved the way for the Philippines to address points of concerns.
“The EU GSP+ is beneficial both for the Philippines and the EU in driving inclusive growth and sustainable development,” Pascual said.
The DTI chief also recognized the evident impact of GSP+ on Philippines-EU bilateral trade as it provides the Philippines with zero-rated or preferential tariffs on nearly 66 percent of tariff lines, significantly enhancing the country’s export capabilities to the EU market.
The Philippines is the largest GSP+ country by gross domestic product (GDP), and the second largest exporter to the EU among the GSP+ beneficiary countries.
In 2022, the country's exports to the EU reached a total trade volume of EUR 15.231 billion. Using GSP+ rates, the Philippines was able to export EUR 2.93 billion worth of products to the EU – achieving the highest utilization rate record of 77 percent.
These products include processed tuna, coconut products, canned pineapples, garments, and footwear.
The resumption of PH-EU FTA negotiations was also endorsed by EU Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen during her visit to the Philippines in July as well as key business sectors such as the EU-ASEAN Business Council (ABC), ECCP, and other industry associations.
"It is high time for the Philippines and the EU to resume FTA negotiations to maintain strong economic relations with the EU. Through our enabling business environment, we are confidently encouraging foreign investments toward the Philippines," Pascual said.
The GSP Report evaluates the implementation of 27 international core conventions, which cover human rights, labor rights, environmental standards, and good governance, in eight GSP+ beneficiary countries, including the Philippines, from 2020 to 2022, highlighting areas for improvement.
To date, four biennial reviews have been concluded under the current GSP scheme.