UK to retain GSP Plus for PH

With enhanced features

British Ambassador Daniel Pruce  conveyed that the British government will continue to keep the GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) Plus scheme with enhanced features as the United Kingdom breaks free from the political and economic union of the EU.

Pruce spoke at the Economic Outlook virtual briefing of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines where he relayed the decision of the British government to continue affording the GSP Plus to its trading partners.

British Ambassador Daniel Pruce

GSP Plus is a program of the EU, which grants zero duty on a list of products to developing trading partners including the Philippines.

The rollover of the GSP Plus scheme into UK’s own preferential trade scheme will be extended under an enhanced framework. Pruce said this decision bodes well for the Philippines where a third of its exports to the UK account for one of its total exports to the British market.

Pruce noted that bilateral trade between the two countries has been inevitably affected by the pandemic given the movement restrictions imposed by both countries and the wider international community. 

As a result, bilateral trade went down to 2.1 billion pounds in the first two quarters of 2020 with UK exports to the Philippines declined by 3.3 percent to 993 million pounds. Import 1.1 billion imports from Philippines down 6.2 percent. Other indicators showed  the figures will   look worse once the July to September data comes in.

But Pruce expressed confidence that the more than 200 British firms in the country will continue operating in the country. He vowed to work hard to sustain the investment connection with the Philippines. For 2021, Pruce noted of more positive perspective given the start of rollout of vaccines.  He cited the private sector led by Presidential adviser on Entrepreneurship for spearheading the donation drive for the procurement of Astra Zeneca vaccines, the most affordable COVID-19 vaccines developed by Oxford University.