The European Union (EU) has announced its decision to include the Philippines in its GSP+ (Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus); a system which applies exemption of duties to the exports of developing countries that have approved and set into motion international conventions on human and labor rights, the environment and good governance.
The inclusion of the Philippines in the EU’s GSP+ will have a significant impact on the income and livelihood of numerous Filipinos, as the program covers 6,200 products, ranging from fruits to textiles, which may now be exported to EU member countries; minus the corresponding duties and taxes.
Analysts say that this could lead to an increase of as much as P32.5 billion-worth of Philippine exports to Europe, within one year under the GSP+. This increase would, in turn, stimulate the job market, creating as many as 267,000 new jobs.
Several South American and Asian countries were included in the first batch of the program, launched in January 2014.
The Philippines’ inclusion in the GSP+ had been approved by the European Commission in August 2014, but final approval could only be given after the nod of approval from the Parliamentary Committee on International Trade (INTA), as well as the European Parliament.