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Follow the latest developments, articles, and featured stories on trade and sustainable development in the EU and GSP beneficiary countries. Check back regularly for frequent content updates.

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POLICY BRIEF |  Export potential of Uzbek goods in the EU

11 May 2021

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What is the export potential of Uzbek products on the European market? To date, the EU only plays a subordinate role as an export market for Uzbek products, both in terms of value and product range. The German Economic Team (GET) identifies products of three product groups, fruits and vegetables, textiles, and metals, as high potential products on the EU market. Intensified trade relations would also help Uzbekistan to diversify its export markets. Read this policy brief by the GET and get more insights.

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POLICY BRIEF |  The EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism: how to make it work for developing countries

07 May 2021

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The EU intends to introduce a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) by the end of 2021. While the exact design is not yet known, the CBAM would see a charge levied at the border, proportionate to the carbon emitted during the production of imported goods. The EU’s proposed CBAM risks unfairly penalising the exports of developing countries. While all countries should accept responsibility for tackling a shared global threat such as climate change, it is unreasonable to expect poorer countries to shoulder the same burden as those that are richer and have historically contributed a larger share of cumulative carbon emissions. Click below to read a policy brief on the interrelation of a CBAM and the EU's GSP by Sam Lowe, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Reform.

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NEWS |  Uzbekistan: the newest member of the GSP+ arrangement

27 April 2021

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On 10th April 2021, Uzbekistan joined the group of GSP+ beneficiaries, becoming the ninth country to participate in the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance. Through the GSP+, Uzbekistan will receive duty-free access to the EU market for about 66% of tariff lines. At the same time, the GSP+ supports Uzbekistan in implementing sustainable development objectives and making further progress in the fields of human and labour rights, environmental and climate protection and good governance.

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NEWS |  Sri Lanka at GSP Engagement Week virtual conference

21 April 2021

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Read this summary article published in the 'Daily Mirror' by Dr Darayatna Silva, former Ambassador to the WTO, on key issues discussed at the opening of the GSP Engagement Week and their importance for Sri Lanka as a beneficiary of the GSP+ and learn more about the trade relationship between the EU and Sri Lanka. 

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NEWS |  Life after LDC Graduation: How is Bangladesh poised for EU GSP+?

21 April 2021

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Bangladesh received the endorsement of the United Nations Committee for Development Policy (UN CDP) regarding its final timeline for exiting the group of least developed countries (LDCs). The country is now scheduled to leave the category in 2026, i.e., with extra two years to get ready for a smooth and sustainable transition. On leaving the group, Bangladesh is going to miss out on the LDC category specific preferences and privileges extended by its international development partners, inter alia the preferences granted by the EBA. Read this article in 'The Business Standard' and learn more about Bangladesh's readiness to join the GSP+ arrangement.

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EVENT |  Recording GSP Engagement Week Session 4 - The GSP and Inclusive Growth & Closing Session

25 March 2021

How can trade and the GSP can contribute to inclusive and equitable development in beneficiary countries? What kind of challenges do women in the agricultural sector face in Africa? How does the GSP help advocating for LGBTQI rights in Central Asia and what is needed for vulnerable groups to take greater advantage of the benefits granted by the GSP? These and other questions were discussed during the final session of the GSP Engagement Week – the GSP and Inclusive Growth. Listen to Mr Ulrich Weigl of the European Commission - DG Trade providing an outlook on the EU Trade Policy Review and the Review of the GSP Regulation during the closing session. Watch the recording here.

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EVENT |  Recording GSP Engagement Week Session 3 - The GSP and Labour Rights

24 March 2021

The lively discussion on day 3 of the GSP Engagement Week centred around the relation between the GSP and Labour Rights. Two panellists from GSP+ beneficiary countries Pakistan and Sri Lanka shared their perspective on the impact the GSP creates for workers and working conditions. Watch the recording and learn what kind of concrete challenges persist in beneficiary countries, how the GSP can contribute to ameliorating labour rights and find out what suggestions panellists put forward for a future GSP regulation.

 

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EVENT |  Recording GSP Engagement Week Session 2 - The GSP and the Green Economy

23 March 2021

How does the GSP relate to environmental initiatives like the EU Green Deal or the Circular Economy Plan? How could a future regulation be stronger connected to environmental sustainability objectives? What are challenges? Watch the recording of Day 2 of the GSP Engagement Week on the GSP and the Green Economy.

 

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EVENT |  Recording GSP Engagement Week Session 1 - Opening & the GSP and Export Diversification

22 March 2021

How and to what extent does the GSP contribute to export diversification in beneficiary countries? What kind of opportunities are there within and outside the prominent textiles industry under the GSP? How could an updated regulation support export diversification in the future? These and other questions were discussed in the first session of the GSP Engagement Week. Watch the recording here!

 

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Event |  GSP Engagement Workshop

03 February 2021

engagement week

Join us for the virtual GSP Engagement Week from 22 - 25 March 2021! Let's discuss the interplay between the economic rationale and the values perspective of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences. Some of the questions we would like to address include: how can the GSP help economic diversification, what kind of opportunities does it present for EU producers, and how can civil and environmental targets be achieved in beneficiary countries.

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Interview |  The GSP and its effect on global supply chains pre- and post-COVID, Interview with Niclas Frederic Poitiers, Research Fellow, Bruegel

03 March 2021

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The GSP Hub team sat down with Mr Niclas Frederic Poitiers of the Brussels-based economic think-tank Bruegel for a discussion on the economic implications of the GSP. Mr Poitiers, who is working on EU trade policy and e-commerce in trade, gave us valuable insight into the economic and social aspects of the GSP and the effect of the scheme on supply chains globally. Read our interview to learn more about the synergies between the GSP and global trade and how the scheme can further evolve in this regard.

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NEWS |  Bangladesh scheduled to graduate from the LDC group in 2026

03 March 2021

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The Committee for Development Policy of the UN (CDP) recommended Bangladesh’s graduation from the Least Developed Country (LDC) category at the second triennial review, held from 22 to 26 February 2021. Once more, Bangladesh met the required thresholds across all three criteria which include the per capita gross national income (GNI), the economic vulnerability index (EVI), and the human assets index (HAI). At the same time, the CDP acknowledged the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and extended the preparatory period from three to five years. Bangladesh is scheduled to graduate from LDC status in 2026. Read more in this article from The Daily Star.

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NEWS |  UN Committee for Development Policy expects long-term effects of COVID-19 on LDC’s

02 March 2021

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Although the COVID-19 pandemic has spread less rapidly in Least Developed Countries (LDC’s), the socio-economic impact on these countries is much more severe. The impact is felt most by LDC’s dependent on tourism and fossil fuel exports. Economic recovery is impeded by limited fiscal space. The UN Comittee on Development Policy (CDP) expects a long-term impact on health systems and education in these countries as well as deferred or even reversed progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals. The CDP recommends, inter alia, to extent the preparatory period for all countries recommended for graduation in 2021. Click below to read a summary of the latest briefing by the UN Committee for Development Policy.

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Interview |  Three Questions about the GSP to MEP Raphaël Glucksmann

19 February 2021

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In part three of our interview series, MEP Raphaël Glucksmann highlights trade as an important means to achieve sustainable, democratic & social development. How does the GSP relate to that? Click on the link to find out more.

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Interview |  Three Questions about the GSP to MEP Marie-Pierre Vedrenne

18 February 2021

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What is the role of the GSP for a post-COVID19 recovery and how can the impact created by the GSP be improved? Read part two of our short interview series with MEPs, today with MEP Marie-Pierre Vedrenne. 

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Interview |  Three Questions about the GSP to MEP Saskia Bricmont

17 February 2021

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How is the GSP connected to the EU's trade and values agenda? In what area does the arrangement not live up to its potential? Read the first interview of our short interview series with MEPs, today with MEP Saskia Bricmont. 

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Interview |  Green, Sustainable Partnership?- The GSP from an environmental perspective, Interview with Eline Blot and Marianne Kettunen from the IEEP

12 February 2021

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The GSP Hub team sat down with the Institute for European Environmental Policy for a discussion on the environmental implications of the GSP. Does the arrangement promote sustainable trade between the EU and beneficiary countries? Can the GSP part of a greener global future? What about the European Green Deal? Read our interview to learn more about the green aspect of the GSP and how the scheme can further evolve in this regard. 

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Opinion | Can Bangladesh get prepared for EU's GSP-plus? 

04 February 2021

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Over the past few years, Bangladesh has progressed a lot in terms of economic and social development. However, graduation from the LDC group will be the most important milestone that Bangladesh could achieve in the coming years. But the question remains: is Bangladesh's trade sector ready to face the challenges after the country graduates from Least Developed Country (LDC) status in 2024? Losing preferential market access in many export destinations seems to be the most challenging aspect of the path of smooth graduation. Read this op-ed by Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Abeer Khandker, Senior Lecturer, East West University and share your views! 

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VIDEO | "We need the engagement from the stakeholder community " - summary of the interview with CTEO Denis Redonnet  

11 December 2020

You did not have a chance to read our interview with the CTEO yet? Check out the summary of the interview here:

 

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STORY | Sri Lanka developed as a hub for premium cigar tobacco manufacturing

14 January 2021

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In our newest article, Mr Serge Ponnet from J. Cortès Cigars tells the GSP Hub team the success story of their company. Read more about how the Generalised Scheme of Preferences facilitates premium quality tobacco imports from Indonesia and cigar manufacturing in Sri Lanka.

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STORY | Increasing Pakistan’s international competitiveness through the GSP

14 January 2021

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Read the stoy of Mr Rashid Attari, Export/Import Deputy Manager at Kay & Emms (Pvt) Ltd. and his insights on how the GSP supported trade industries and overall competitiveness of Pakistani products on the world market. 

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STORY |  The Role of the GSP in EU-Armenia Cooperation

08 January 2021

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Since 2014, Armenia is a beneficiary of the Special Incentive Scheme for Sustainable Development and Good Governance (GSP+) granted by the European Union. Read this story on how the GSP+ impacted EU-Armenian trade relations and contributed to improving Armenian people’s rights and quality of life.

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OPINION | Human Rights Watch: Uzbekistan Not Even Close to Meriting EU's Trade Scheme 

16 December 2020

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In June, Uzbekistan officially applied for GSP+ beneficiary status. This arrangement not only grants more favourable duty reductions compared to the General GSP but comes with the condition to ratify and implement 27 international conventions on human and labour rights, environmental protection, and good governance, incentivising sustainable development. The European Commission has already examined the application and believes Uzbekistan is ready for GSP+. Read this opinion piece contributed by Human Rights Watch and share your views - is Uzbekistan ready for this next step? 

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STORY | A more sustainable textile and denim industry in Pakistan 

14 December 2020

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After 2014, when Pakistan acceded to the GSP+ a small boom took place in the textile and denim industry. By now, textiles have become the largest product section imported under the GSP+ arrangement, comprising more than 70% of Pakistan’s GSP imports to the EU. Read the story of Mayoral Moda Infantil, a spanish producer of children's clothing.

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STORY | The sports goods industry and diversification in Pakistan

14 December 2020

Pakistan’s GSP+ success story is particularly visible in the city of Sialkot, the capital of the country’s sports industry. About 98 per cent of products manufactured in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises located in the city are exported to foreign markets. “These industries – particularly the sports goods industry – have been an important source of Pakistan’s foreign exchange earnings,” says Mr Arshad Javad Sandal, Chairman of the Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association. 

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STORY | Civil society and human rights education in Mongolia 

11 December 2020

globe mongolia

The Globe International Center is a Mongolian NGO committed to improve the access to public information to support the development of an active civil society. The Globe International Center has formed a “3 Cs Support Group” as a core group to provide professional support and assistance to stakeholders involved in the GSP+ scheme and the relevant human rights-related commitments made by beneficiary countries under the GSP+.

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INTERVIEW |  EU CTEO Underscores Role of Business & Civil Society for Effective GSP

07 December 2020

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We sat down virtually with the new Chief Trade Enforcement Officer Denis Redonnet and talked about his new position and its implications for the EU's trade & values agenda and the Generalised Scheme of Preferences. Mr Redonnet was appointed Chief Trade Enforcement Officer in July 2020, a new position created under Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Read the interview

 


 

WTO NEWS |  Germany and Estonia pledge 815,000 € to help poorest countries expand role in world trade  

07 December 2020

On 3 December, Germany and Estonia have pledged 815,000 € to the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), a programme which supports Least Developed Countries to better use trade for sustainable development and poverty reduction. The funds will be used to address new challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more on the WTO website

 


 

EVENT |  Join the virtual Bangladesh-Netherlands Investment Summit 

04 December 2020

Are you an economic operator from the Netherlands or the EBA beneficiary Bangladesh? Take the opportunity and join this webinar series organised by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in the Netherlands, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). Three webinars on the 8th and 9th December 2020 will bring together industry leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and policymakers from the Netherlands and Bangladesh. Stakeholders will present and discuss opportunities and consider the specific scope for engagement in trade and investments between Dutch and Bangladeshi companies. Click on the link below to for a detailed agenda and registration.

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REPORT |  Mongolia Engagement Workshop 

28 October 2020

mongolia

On 27 October the first beneficiary country workshop took place in Mongolia as part of the EU Trade Days. This workshop kicked off a series of events in beneficiary countries, and engaged stakeholders to increase the use of preferences under the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance (GSP+) through identifying routes for export diversification, encouraging European companies to increase their imports from Mongolia, and promoting the related international sustainability standards.

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REPORT |  GSP Stakeholder Forum  

30 September 2020

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On 29 September the inaugural Stakeholder Forum of the Action on GSP Trade Preferences took place in a hybrid format. A small number of participants gathered at the Charlemagne Building while all interested participants were able to follow the panel discussions online. The topics that were discussed included the role of the GSP for a post-pandemic recovery, the GSP's relevance and potential for Africa, and the promotion of sustainable development in Central Asia.

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