The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has settled talks with the tuna and garments sectors for them to work on the country’s application for European Union’s Generalized System of Preferences Scheme Plus (EU-GSP+), where the union will provide incentives and reduce tariffs to countries in need of sustainable development and good governance.
DTI Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said that the tuna and garments sectors will contribute in the revival of domestic manufacturing, as they account for 50 percent of the labor force.
“The Manufacturing Industry Roadmap identifies market access as a specific government intervention. The sustainability of the tuna and garments sectors will contribute significantly to the revival of the country’s manufacturing industry, since these sectors account for more than 50 percent of the country’s industry labor force,” Cristobal said.
In a statement, the DTI said that Cristobal met with tuna and garments sector representatives, and discussed nontariff measures and rules of origin under the EU-GSP+, as well as how to maximize the aid from the union.
“[The DTI] have been holding a series of briefings with stakeholders to provide them information on the requirements and processes in applying for the GSP+ scheme and its benefits,” Cristobal said.
The GSP+ scheme allows the granting of incentives or tariff reductions based on 27 international conventions or criteria-like factors such as human and labor rights, environment and governance principles, among others.
The Philippines currently benefits from the regular GSP export tariff reductions that include 6,209 tariff lines, 3,767 of which have reduced, while the other 2,442 are under zero duty. The recent GSP+ is advantageous as it covers 6,274 zero-duty products.
“The country’s GSP exports to the EU are expected to increase as more products will be accorded zero duty when the Philippines qualifies for GSP+. Increased exports will translate to enhanced production capacity, resulting to more employment opportunities,” DTI said.