SEVERAL sectors are expected to benefit from the Philippines recently becoming a beneficiary under the European Union’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (EU-GSP+), which provides zero duties for selected products traded within EU countries.

As the Philippines is currently the only country in Asean to be granted the status, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) hopes to encourage more exporters to take advantage of the benefits. To increase their awareness, they are holding a day-long discussion for exporters so they can understand how the EU-GSP+ works.

“Philippine exporters are therefore encouraged to strengthen their collaboration and partnership with the DTI and all concerned agencies to take full advantage of this new market opportunity for full utilization of this preferential treatment,” said DTI Cebu Provincial Director Nelia Navarro.

The DTI’s Export Marketing Bureau and its Cebu Provincial Office are organizing the information session, which will be held on Jan. 20 at the Cebu Parklane International Hotel.

Under the scheme, which was aimed at increasing exports to the EU, exporters enjoy zero duty for 6,274 products. DTI expects the scheme will benefit important Philippine export sectors in processed fruit, prepared food, animal and vegetable fats and oils, textiles, garments, headwear, umbrellas and chemicals.

When the news was announced last month, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the country stands to gain euro 611.8 million on the first year the scheme takes effect while about 200,000 jobs in manufacturing and agriculture are expected to be generated. The EU is the Philippines’ fourth largest trading partner, accounting for 11.56 percent of the country’s exports.

Resource persons include key officials from the Philippine Trade and Investment Center, the DTI Export Marketing Bureau, DTI Bureau of International Trade Relations and the Bureau of Customs.

A copy of the program lists Ma. Teresa Borja of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center based in Brussels, Belgium as the speaker who will touch on updates on the EU-GSP+. EMB Director Senen Perlada will give a discussion on the export opportunities for products covered under the scheme while Port of Manila Export Division Chief Louis Adviento will tackle availment procedures of the EU-GSP+ rules of origin.

While the DTI is offering the discussion for free, they want exporters to sign up because seats are limited.