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EU envoy tells PH exporters how to earn P122 trillion

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By Veronica Uy

Philippine exporters can earn as much as P122 trillion under the European Union’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) program, EU Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Véron said at the recent third Embassy Night of THEPHILBIZNEWS and Hotel Okura Manila.

“The Philippines also benefits from the EU’s GSP+ program, meaning over P122 trillion (equivalent to 2 billion euro) of Philippine exports could be sold to the EU market without paying duties or only very low duties,” Ambassador Veron told an audience of diplomats, business leaders, and media representatives.

In his speech, Ambassador Veron highlighted the strong partnership between the EU and the Philippines in the fields of trade, development, and peace.

“The EU [is] the Philippines’ fourth largest trading partner. In 2023, we exchanged goods for P1 trillion (equivalent to 16 billion euro). The Philippines enjoyed a P84.7 billion (equivalent to 1.4 billion euro) trade surplus,” said the top EU diplomat in the country.

In addition to trade and investment cooperation, Ambassador Veron highlighted EU’s support of the Philippines in green transition, national development, and humanitarian aid during natural disasters and conflict.

“One priority is to support the green transition of the Philippines: we work with local governments and private sector to reduce plastic waste and move towards a circular economy. We also continue our cooperation on renewable energy and energy efficiency,” he said.

“The second focus area of our development cooperation is peace, good governance and rule of law. Since 2006, our collaboration with the Philippines on justice sector reforms has been steadfast. Our joint efforts in promoting peace initiatives in Mindanao stand as a testament to the EU’s unwavering commitment to conflict resolution and nation building. Through dialogue, infrastructure support, private sector support and reconciliation, we are laying the groundwork for a peaceful and prosperous future for all communities in the region,” he added.

Moreover, Ambassador Veron emphasized EU’s commitment to further enhancing trade and investment relations with the Philippines. He announced the relaunch of negotiations for a bilateral EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement, which is expected to create new opportunities for exports and investment in the Philippines.

“European companies are crucial investors in the Philippines, with a foreign direct investment stock in the country of around P856 trillion (equivalent to 14 billion euro), providing jobs and expertise and contributing to the impressive Philippine economic growth,” he said.

“And the future for our bilateral trade and investment looks even more promising, as we have recently announced the relaunch of the negotiations of a bilateral EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement. This would create new possibilities for exports and investment in the Philippines,” he added.

Ambassador Véron, EU Ambassador to the Philippines bares the promising future of the EU-Phl bilateral trade and investment with the relaunch of the negotiations of a bilateral EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement that would create new possibilities for exports and investment in the Philippines.

Ambassador Veron concluded his address by expressing appreciation for THEPHILBIZNEWS and Hotel Okura Manila for providing a platform for dialogue and discourse.

“Occasions like these underscore the importance of the media such as The Philippine Business and News in our society today. More than providing the latest news and updates, the media is able to provide a voice to us, the diplomatic community and to business and government organizations alike, so that we could inform, explain, and engage with our interlocutors and with the general public,” the ambassador said.

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