ECCP supports the extension of the EU GSP+ scheme

The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) has expressed its 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.

In an email statement on Thursday, Nov. 23, ECCP welcomed the recent positive developments regarding the extension of the EU GSP+, expressing appreciation for the European Parliament’s support of the European Commission’s proposal to renew the scheme for another four years.

ECCP, a strong advocate of the GSP+ scheme renewal, highlighted the benefits it provides to numerous European and Filipino firms. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual also welcomed the EU’s decision, emphasizing the constructive dialogues within the GSP+ framework that paved the way for the Philippines to address points of concern.

Pascual recognized the evident impact of GSP+ on Philippines-EU bilateral trade, pointing out that 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.

In 2022, the Philippines achieved a total trade volume of EUR 15.231 billion in exports to the EU, with the country’s exports reaching EUR 2.93 billion using GSP+ rates – 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.

ECCP emphasized that the extension of the EU GSP+ is still subject to final and official approval. 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.

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