DTI to SMEs: Take advantage of EU-GSP+ PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 March 2015 14:17

By Michael Vincent D. Cajulao

 

Trade and Industry-9 Regional Director Sitti Amina M. Jain urged small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) in Zamboanga Peninsula to utilize the benefits that the European Union’s Generalized Scheme of Preference (EU-GSP+) present to penetrate the EU market.

Addressing the participants during the EU-GSP+ Information Session held last February 24, Dir. Jain said, “I urge you to fully utilize this program that will help you access the EU market at zero tariff. The program presents more opportunities for the exporters and would-be exporters of region 9”.

With the program, it is expected that exporters and would-be exporters will generate additional revenue critical to the growth of their income and supporting economic growth and jobs creation.

“DTI is looking at the opportunities in terms of expansion of businesses, and the industries, therefore, expanding opportunities for employment. We are looking at 200,000 jobs to be generated by the scheme”, Dir. Jain said.

Jain encouraged the participants to take an active stance in penetrating the EU market.

“We want Region 9 to be a key player in targeting the EU as a market. At zero tariff, it would mean increase in profit margin for our exporters”, she stressed.

With GSP+, about 6,200 products from the Philippines can now enter any of the 28 European Union-member countries tax-free, compared to the regular GSP where only a few number of products can enter the EU market with only reduced tariff.

DTI Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo egged on the SMEs to really take this rare chance given by the EU.

“It is for free. It’s a gift from the EU. We really need to utilize this as this is not forever. The scheme will only be good for about 6 to 10 years. Within this time frame, we need to capitalize on this advantage and penetrate the EU market”, Asec. Rodolfo said.

Rodolfo said GSP+ gives the country a leverage over other countries as it makes it easier for Philippine exporters to sell their products in EU.

“While other countries try to negotiate with the EU on how to lessen the tariffs of their products coming to the region, we don’t have to pay anything to sell our products there”, he explained.

However, Rodolfo challenged also the producers and manufacturers to ensure that their products adhere to the standards of EU.

“Penetrating EU market also demands that our products meet their standards. We have to ensure that we follow all their requirements to enter into their market. So I encourage you to really be particular with what EU requires”, he said. — MVC/DTI-9