Lopez: Philippines assured of preferential market access to UK post-Brexit
MANILA, Philippines – The United Kingdom has assured the Philippines of continued preferential market access even after the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Friday, April 12.
Lopez said in a statement that the Philippines got the assurance from UK officials in 3 high-level dialogues held in the last two months on the Philippines' Generalized Scheme of Preferences plus (GSP+) level market access to the UK.
“The retention of the Philippines’s GSP+ level preferential market access to the UK is a huge assurance for PH exporters. For products that are not covered by the GSP+, Most Favoured Nation (MFN) rates will apply," he said.
"The Philippines is also actively engaged in negotiations in the WTO (World Trade Organization) for the final MFN bound rates that UK will apply after Brexit to ensure that products of interest for the Philippines will not be prejudiced by any changes,” Lopez added.
In December 2014, the EU granted the Philippines GSP+ status, which gives up to zero tariffs for certain exports. Aside from the GSP+, the MFN clause can be used to impose lower tariffs on products.
Lopez cited the UK's assurance following a recent UNCTAD study that estimated that the Philippines may lose $93.2 million in export revenues post-Brexit.
Lopez also said the UNCTAD study did not take into consideration the ongoing bilateral talks between the Philippines and the UK.
"The Philippines has taken a more proactive stance in its promotion as an investment destination for UK companies during the London Investor’s Roadshow in September 2018," Lopez said.
"These series of high-level exchanges and visits signal the Philippines' close engagement with UK on improving bilateral economic relations as UK exits the EU,” he added
The DTI said that the UK accounts for less than 10% of the country's total exports to the EU. For goods that are under the GSP+, 11% of these exports went to UK. In 2017, 35% of the country's exports to the UK also fell under the GSP+. – Rappler.com