UK Trade Scheme to Strengthen UK-PH Ties

The United Kingdom’s Developing Country Trade Scheme (DCTS) will help establish bilateral trade and investment relations between the Philippines and the European country, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

“DTI continues to place great value on this new DCTS as we see it as a development tool that will help us better rebuild and strengthen our trade and investment relationship with the UK,” said the Undersecretary of Trade and Industry for Communications and Legislation. This was stated by Maria Blanca Kim Lokin, delivering a message from Minister of Trade and Industry Alfredo Pascual during the Business Dialogue between the European Union and the Philippines, held on Thursday at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati.

DCTS aims to reduce or eliminate tariffs on an additional 156 products for developing countries, including the Philippines, in addition to the more than 6,000 tariff lines covered by the Common European System of Preferences Plus (EU-GSP+).

It will replace the UK post-Brexit GSP, which was created to bridge the new scheme, and the EU-GSP+ that the UK followed until it left the bloc in 2020.

“In recent years, we have worked closely with the UK government to ensure that we not only maintain the same level of UK market access as the EU GSP+, but also make improvements through simpler rules and procedures, including rules of origin (a harmonized set rules of the UK-Philippines Preferential Trade Agreement),” she said.

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Moreover, Lokin said the government is actively working with the UK for the full implementation and details of the DCTS, due to be introduced this June.

“The Philippine government is actively working to build partnerships to promote and maximize the new DCTS. We are awaiting the full UK regulation on the implementation of the DCTS, which will set out full details on end product coverage, rules of origin, eligibility criteria. and monitoring procedures, among other things,” she said.

Last week, Undersecretary of Trade and Industry Caferino Rodolfo and British Ambassador to the Philippines Laura Bofils signed a partnership statement that highlights bilateral cooperation towards sustainable economic growth, including the promotion of DCTS for exporters.

“The Philippines will continue to work with the UK government to realize concrete opportunities and promote greater synergies in areas of mutual interest – trade, investment, renewable energy, to name but a few,” Rodolfo said.