Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


FTAs crucial as Philippines approaches upper middle-income status

THE Philippines’ progress to upper middle-income status will make concessional trade privileges harder to come by, making free trade agreements (FTAs) with blocs like the European Union (EU) a matter of urgency in order to lock in advantageous trading terms, the Department of Trade and Industry said.

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual told reporters on the sidelines of the Mega Global Corp.’s cannery inauguration in Sto. Tomas, Batangas on Wednesday that the Philippines will be ineligible for the EU’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) trading scheme once it becomes an upper middle-income country.

“As an upper middle-income country, the Philippines will no longer be eligible for GSP+,” Mr. Pascual said.

As such, Mr. Pascual highlighted the importance of “resuming our discussions on a full-fledged FTA between the Philippines and EU.”

On Feb. 22, Mr. Pascual met with members of the EU Parliament sub-committee on human rights to discuss the GSP+ renewal, a possible FTA, and improving economic relations.

The last round of FTA negotiations between the Philippines and EU was in 2017.  

The GSP+ is available to low and lower middle-income countries. To maintain eligibility, countries are required to implement 27 international conventions related to human and labor rights.  

Philippine eligibility for GSP+ is set to expire at the end of 2023.

In December, the National Economic and Development Authority said that the Philippines is projected to hit upper middle-income status in 2024 or 2025.

According to Mr. Pascual, the EU delegation was receptive to proposals to resume negotiations.

“With or without the requirements of EU, we are observing the principles that they are interested in,” Mr. Pascual said.  

“Our own agencies are very much aware of the principles and we are a signatory to a number of international conventions,” he added.

The Philippines has been eligible for GSP+ since 2014. The trading scheme offers zero tariffs for 6,274 products, equivalent to 66% of all EU tariff lines.

Some of the country’s top GSP+ exports are crude coconut oil, vacuum cleaners, hairdressing equipment, prepared/preserved tuna, eyeglass lenses, lead-acid accumulators, electric hair dryers, and new pneumatic tires.  — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

Enter Your Information Below To Receive Free Trading Ideas, Latest News, And Articles.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

You May Also Like

World News

Toronto’s school board has become the first in Canada to recognize that caste discrimination exists in the city’s schools and has asked a provincial...


A PROPOSAL to reduce tariffs to zero for imports of natural gypsum will stimulate domestic production of gypsum board, a construction material used in...


Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. For Catholics around the world, it is the beginning of Lent, a period for reflection and contemplation. Speaking of reflection,...


THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is studying the establishment of an international tax division specializing in deterring transfer pricing abuses. “We are trying...

Dislaimer:, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively “The Company”) do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved. Spirit