A delegation from the European Union is in Cebu today to assess the progress of GSP+ (Generalized System of Preferences Plus), a trade perk it granted to the Philippines in 2014.
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines president Guenter Taus said officials from various Directorate General (DG) of the EU are visiting the Philippines from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3 "to facilitate effective cooperation on the implementation of the programme and the conventions covered under the GSP+.
The country's beneficiary status under the GSP+ necessitates the implementation of the 27 international treaties and conventions on human rights, labor rights, environment and governance.
The business community in Cebu is meeting with various EU industries at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu today.
"The purpose of the meeting is for the mission to exchange views on the workings of GSP+ monitoring and to obtain information on the implementation of the Philippines' GSP+ commitments under the relevant conventions," Taus said.
The GSP+ has allowed the tariff free access of over 6,000 Philippine products to the EU market.
Part of the conditions set by EU for the GSP+, which was granted to the Philippines in December 2014, is for the country to adhere to 27 international conventions on human and labor rights, environmental protection, and good governance, among others.
GSP+, on the other hand, grants 6,274 other products zero duty. Before the GSP+ was granted, the Philippines was only covered by the regular EU-GSP which provides zero duty to only 2,442 products and reduced tariffs for 3,767 products.
The EU-GSP+ program is deemed an essential achievement of the Philippines' strategy to sustain and nurture trade and investment relations with Europe.— Carlo S. Lorenciana