PHILIPPINE garments and hard goods manufacturers expect their export earnings to increase by as much as 15 percent this year following the country’s recent inclusion in the European Union’s new generalized system of preferences (GSP+), the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. said.
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 country’s most important exports such as processed fruit and foodstuffs; coconut oil; footwear; fish and textiles.
Robert Young, president of the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines, was quoted by Philexport as saying that the 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 said.
Young identified Germany and France as the biggest buyers of Philippine handicrafts and other hard goods, while the United Kingdom favored children’s dresses that were made in the country. Other examples of hard goods are housewares and accents, furniture, footwear, and accessories.
“They (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, we will be more competitive than the other guys in the Asean region as we apply more handicraft work in our products,” Young said.
Based on earlier projections by the Department of Trade and Industry, products that would likely post the highest increases given the country’s inclusion in the GSP+ scheme included textiles and garments (79.7 million euros), footwear, headwear, umbrellas (28.5 million euros).
Young added that improvements in the country’s rankings in global competitiveness indices and the Philippines’ hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit and related meetings this year were seen further boosting exports of the garments and hard goods sectors.
“This will be noticed by foreign buyers, it is one factor in attracting businesses in the Philippines. The Fobap is looking forward to more buyers coming to the country to look for merchandise for export to their own countries,” Young noted. “Buyers will get excited and those who are not yet buying from the Philippines will get interested to learn about more Philippine products.
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.