MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is expecting an increase in foreign investors in the Philippines after receiving approval from the European Parliament on the country’s application for the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+).
The GSP+ is an arrangement that provides zero tariffs on 6,274 products.
The Philippines is the only beneficiary country of the European Union (EU) GSP+ program among ASEAN member countries.
“We expect foreign investors to turn their attention to the Philippines and consider the country as their manufacturing hub for the ASEAN region,” DTI Undersecretary and Lead Trade Negotiator Adrian Cristobal said in a statement.
Cristobal described the approval as a “milestone” in the Philippines’ bilateral trade relations with the European Union.
“[It] moves forward the Philippines’ strategy to expand our presence in Europe. With the GSP+ in place, our exporters will have better access and comparative advantage in the EU market,” he said.
Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, meanwhile, said the approval “reflects the EU’s strong support to the Philippines’ development strategy and recovery efforts.”
He added that a critical element of the country’s inclusive growth strategy is boosting trade with the rest of the world.
“With the help of our most important trading partners, we hope to develop meaningful and constructive interventions for immediate and long-term economic growth, particularly in the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan,” he said.
The Philippines is the 14th country to be included in the list of EU GSP+ beneficiaries along with Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, Mongolia, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.