EU is biggest market for PH goods, figures show
The European Union (EU) has emerged as the biggest market for Philippine products, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Data showed that the EU overtook Japan in March to become the Philippines’ largest exporting partner with $901-million worth of exports.
For the first quarter of the year, Philippine exports to the EU comprised of 15.5 percent of the country’s total exports, posting a growth of 48.3 percent.
According to EU Ambassador Franz Jessen, the growth was triggered by the strong demand for Philippine products, particularly in the agri-food sector.
The country’s exports, Jessen said, also received a boost from the EU’s preferential trade scheme GSP+ (generalized scheme of preferences).
GSP+ has resulted in the reduction of tariff on Philippine products and helped the country corner a monster share of 17.5 percent in exports to the EU in January.
Top Philippine exports to the EU under the scheme are agricultural oil products, electrical equipment, processed meat and fish, optical products, and processed vegetable, fruits and nuts.
GSP+ offers incentives in the form of duty reductions on exports as a reward to developing countries for their commitment to upholding the 27 core international conventions on human and labor rights, sustainable development and good governance.
Other GSP+ beneficiaries include Pakistan, Bolivia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Cape Verde, Mongolia, Paraguay and Sri Lanka.
“EU’s trade agenda is one of fair trade and of leaving nobody behind. And even though statistics are indications, these figures surely help the Philippines in achieving its inclusive growth agenda,” the EU ambassador said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.