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The UK government, in a significant stride towards expanding trade and investment prospects between the two nations, launched the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) in Manila.

The event commenced with an opening by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Laure Beaufils, accompanied by the esteemed guest of honour, Alfredo Pascual, Secretary of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry.

Notable attendees included representatives from the Philippine government, UK exporters, and industry associations. The launch, orchestrated jointly by the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (BCCP), marked a momentous occasion.

During the launch, Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Laure Beaufils, expressed her delight in introducing the UK’s new unilateral preferences scheme, the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), set to take effect on 19th June 2023. 

The DCTS will bring about tariff reductions, eliminate conditions, and simplify trading regulations, thereby fostering increased trade and fortifying the trading alliance between the UK and the Philippines. Beaufils encouraged businesses to seize full advantage of this new scheme.

In 2022, bilateral trade between the Philippines and the UK reached an all-time high of £2.4 billion. The Philippines exports a diverse range of high-value products to the UK, including tuna, shirts, and starch, all of which stand to gain substantial tariff reductions under the DCTS. This scheme holds the potential to save Philippine businesses over £20 million annually on UK export tariffs.

Philippine exports to the UK can further benefit from over 150 additional tariff cuts under the DCTS. Enhanced Preferences within the DCTS offer generous tariff incentives, facilitating market access for Philippine businesses across a wide spectrum of industries within the UK.

Secretary Fred Pascual of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also joined the launch. In his opening address, he expressed his optimism about the UK-DCTS, lauding it as one of the most benevolent trade preference schemes globally, enabling the Philippines to maintain access to enhanced preferences. He eagerly anticipated duty-free and quota-free trade on 92% of eligible goods, which translates to 99% of the Philippines’ exports to the UK.

The UK government is introducing the DCTS to replace the Generalised Scheme of Preferences, with the objective of fostering equitable and unencumbered trade with selected nations. This comprehensive scheme offers an exceedingly generous set of trading preferences, exemplifying the UK’s commitment to nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the Philippines.