An extension of the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) program and a possible free trade agreement (FTA) with the European region is being pushed through by Department of Trade and Industry-Bureau of International Trade Relations (DTI-BITR) Director Angelo Salvador Benedictos.
In a statement, Benedictos said that the renewal of GSP+ will “[benefit] a lot of industries [and] a lot of areas in the Philippines”.
The current EU GSP+ scheme, which allows for the duty-free entry of 6,274 Philippine products into Europe, is set to expire by the end of 2023
The DTI official also disclosed that there are already two rounds of PH-EU FTA negotiations.
The objectives of the potential FTA include securing additional and permanent duty-free market access beyond the GSP+ scheme; providing a conducive framework for attracting EU investments; and being at par with other ASEAN nations who are aggressively pursuing FTAs with the EU.
EU GSP Directorate-General for Trade Kristiyana Kalcheva said that the European Parliament and the Council are currently discussing the conditions raised by the DTI-BITR.
Kalcheva stated that their goal “is to have the new GSP regulation adopted by 2022, with application from Jan. 1, 2024, to ensure predictability and a smooth transition.”