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Govt eyes EU as stand-in for US market
Sep '10
Philippines plans to explore the European and other export markets as a substitute, in case it fails to get into a preferential trade agreement with the country's largest apparel importer, the United States.

Lucita Reyes, Executive Director of the Board of Investments (BoI), informed media that the country would try to get its garments added in the European Union's Generalized System of Preference (GSP) during the forthcoming discussion session. These discussion sessions are held after every three years and the next session is due in 2012.

The BoI has been appointed as the supervising authority by the Garments and Textile Industry Development Office (GTIDO).

Reyes divulged that, as of now, none of the Philippine garments has been included in the EU GSP list, which grants tariff free privileges. While a majority of the country's exports are meant for the US, but still they are exploring EU, as their competitor countries are gaining from the GSP and they are analysing the situation.

She further said that, the country would also exploit Asian markets like Japan and others where the country's garments already enjoy free access, pursuant to free trade agreements (FTAs).

Also that they are surveying the possibilities of utilizing these FTAs to gain access in other countries markets too at either nil or reduced tariff, Reyes said.

Philippines, has inked a mutual economic partnership agreement with Japan. The country also is a part of regional FTAs with China, Australia and New Zealand, through pacts signed as being a part of the ASEAN bloc.

Reyes said the Philippines is still within its timeline in trying to get a US legislation granting zero tariffs on Philippine garments made out of US-sourced textile.

The Executive Director of BoI said that, there is still time in hand to get the act passed in its favour, which would ensure free-trade access to the US markets, subject to that, these goods are produced from US made raw materials.

The “Save Our Industries Act” is still awaiting approval of the US House and Senate.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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