With Philippineâ€™s recent inclusion in the European Unionâ€™s new generalized system of preferences (GSP+), garments manufacturers expect their export earnings to increase by as much as 15 percent this year, said the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc.
The granting of GSP+ status to the Philippines will allow local companies to export more than 6,200 product lines at zero duty. These include some of the countryâ€™s most important exports such as textiles and footwear.
According to Robert Young, president of the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP), local garments and hard goods sectors were among those that would benefit from the GSP+ scheme as it would also cover footwear, garments and handicrafts.
This means more business, more exports, more production and more labor generation for the Philippines.
Young identified Germany and France as the biggest buyers of Philippine handicrafts, while the United Kingdom favored childrenâ€™s dresses that were made in the country.
Markets are more attractive to handcrafted skills of the Filipinos rather than those in other countries. The artistry in the Philippines is global in standards. So, they will be more competitive than the other countires in the Asean region as more of handicraft work is applied in their products.
Based on earlier projections by the Department of Trade and Industry, products that would likely post the highest increases given the countryâ€™s inclusion in the GSP+ scheme included textiles and garments (79.7 million euros), footwear, headwear, umbrellas (28.5 million euros).
Improvements in the Philippineâ€™s rankings in global competitiveness indices and the hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit and related meetings this year to further boost exports of the garments and hard goods sectors.
FOBAP is looking forward to more buyers coming to the country to look for merchandise for export to their own countries. Buyers who are not yet buying from the Philippines will get interested to learn about more Philippine products.
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