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Palace welcomes European Union's decision to include Philippines in its GSP+
 

Malacañang welcomed on Saturday the Philippines’ recent inclusion to the European Union’s (EU) Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+), which would allow the country to export about 6,274 tariff lines under zero duties at least by Christmas Day.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said this development would further open up trade between Philippine and European companies thereby allowing more investment opportunities both ways.

“We certainly welcome (it) and we thank the EU for allowing us to have a greater opportunity for trade and exchange with them. And we see this as a positive development and, again, an affirmation of the changes that have been happening in the country,” he said in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan.

Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, who announced the news in a press briefing last Friday, considered it a “very good Christmas gift” by the EU to the Philippines.

“At the very least, we stand to potentially gain an added 611.8 million euros in exports to the EU during the first year that this arrangement will take effect," Domingo was quoted saying in a report.

The scheme could reportedly create over 200,000 jobs in the country, especially for the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. The Philippines is only the 14th country to be granted GSP+ privilege by the EU and the lone beneficiary of such in Southeast Asia.

EU is the Philippines’ 4th largest trading partner in 2013, with total bilateral trade registered at 12.8-billion US dollars. It ranks fourth as an export market for the country’s products, accounting for 11.56 percent of total Philippine exports. PND (hdc)  (full story - 12.20.14)  


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