PAMPANGA— The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) engaged export and manufacturing stakeholders during the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Consultation Sessions in Clark.
“I urged exporters and manufacturers to fully maximize the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) privilege of the Philippines by exploring opportunities in trade especially with the United States and with the European Union (EU),” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
The trade chief shared DTI’s thrust to balance the inflow and outflow of trade as the Philippine export growth is now 16.3 percent while the import is 13 percent. He also acknowledged the efforts of President Rodrigo Duterte in creating new ties with other countries, which opened new export markets to Russia and China. China accounted for the fastest growth rate at 34%. Recent date also showed exports to EU posted strong growth due to greater number of utilization of GSP+ trade privileges where over 6,000 product lines have 0% tariff duty.
Sec. Lopez also shared the continued negotiations of DTI in expanding preferential tariff lines of GSP and GSP+ engaging the US and the EU through dialogues. DTI also extends its efforts in establishing certifications for exporters, such as the recently signed joint Department Order (DO) between DTI and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Said DO ensures importing companies that Philippine exporters availing GSP preferences will uphold and protect the rights of laborers.
Board of Investments (BOI) Head and DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo likewise joined the trade chief in highlighting and discussing the untapped potentials of the GSP privileges of the Philippines. USec. Rodolfo even led a cliniquing session with experts from the DTI-Bureau of International Trade Relations (BITR) and the Bureau of Customs to guide exporters in developing their trade strategies.
The Consultation Sessions on GSP was initiated by Former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, in an effort to reinvigorate the export industry in the province specifically in travel goods and garments.
Last June, the US government expanded the coverage of the GSP including 23 tariff lines under travel goods sector, creating a potential of additional USD 200-400 million-worth of export revenues, generating 700,000 additional jobs in the country.
Also in the sessions were the Confederation of Garment Exporters of the Philippines Executive Director Marites Agoncillio, Clark Development Corporation CEO Noel Mananquil and Bases Conversion and Development Authority President Vince Dizon.