The Generalised Scheme of Preferences - What's in it for EU Industry?

Start/Stop Date:
02 Mar 2022
GSP Hub - a project funded by the European Commission
Online (Webex) / On-site (Brussels)
Focus Areas:
Human rights, good governance, green economy, sustainable development
Type of Event:

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In 2019, about 40% of overall EU imports from LDCs and lower or lower-middle-income countries used preferential tariffs granted by the GSP. Of these preferential imports, about € 52.94 billion were imported under zero GSP tariffs, while an additional € 20.54 billion benefitted from positive GSP duties. This resulted in savings of import duties of about 1.9 billion euros, indicating the economic significance for EU importers.

The objective of the high-level industry dialogue is to discuss the role of EU Industry in promoting sustainability standards through engagement with the GSP, as well as to investigate the economic impact of the scheme in terms of diversification of investments and supply chains. The discussions will serve as a forum to discuss ways to enhance the usage of GSP for European stakeholders, while providing case studies from selected beneficiary countries.

The discussion-driven format will allow stakeholders to engage in constructive conversations, through sharing their own experience on the usage of the GSP, while underlying its impact on their business.

The event will feature two roundtables, and the discussions will focus on:

  • The social dimension of the GSP, and the importance of responsible value chains for EU Industry
  • The relevance of the GSP for EU importers in recent years as a way to diversify investments
  • Forward-looking perspective considering the Commission's proposal for a new GSP framework


2 March 2022, 13:00 - 17:15 (CET), online and in Berlaymont building, Rue de la Loi 200, Brussels

all times indicated in Brussels time (CET)

12:30 - 13:00   Registration for in-person participants 13:00

13:30   Opening keynotes

  • 13:00   Keynote and welcome - MEP Ms Heidi Hautala, Rapporteur on the New GSP Regulation 
  • 13:10   Video Message by Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission (TBC)
  • 13:15   Conclusions of the GSP Hub Project - Dr Willem van der Geest, Team Leader, GSP Hub Project

13:30 - 14:30   Roundtable 1: How can the EU industry contribute to sustainable business practices, and what is the role of the GSP?

Economic growth and the participation in international supply chains has brought considerable benefits to GSP beneficiary countries. Nonetheless, increased economic activity often challenges countries in addressing human and labour rights impact, as well as environmental concerns. The GSP and especially the GSP+ provide beneficiary countries with a clear incentive for ratifying and implementing international human and labour rights conventions, but also conventions related to good governance and the environment (GSP+). The GSP+ takes the social dimension into consideration and supports the strengthening of responsible value chains. This conditionality becomes increasingly relevant for EU industry in light of new upcoming EU regulations on supply chain due diligence and shifting demand patterns among European consumers.

Moderated by Ms Laura Basagni, Program Manager at The German Marshall Fund of the United States 

  • Mr  Stuart Newman, Senior Legal Advisor – Sustainable Trade & Customs at AMFORI
  • Mr Dirk Vantyghem, Director General at EURATEX
  • H.E. Ambassador Mahbub Hassan Saleh of the Embassy of Bangladesh in Belgium
  • MEP Ms Maria Arena (TBC)

14:30 - 15:00   Discussion with participants

15:00 - 15:30 Coffee Break

15:30 - 16:30   Roundtable 2: How to leverage the EU’s GSP to diversify investments and supply chains?

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in global supply chains and production and, at the same time, highlighted the relevance of international trade and market diversification. Economic diversification is indeed closely associated with economic growth and reduced volatility. The GSP provides European companies with clear incentives to consider beneficiary countries in future sourcing strategies, seeking additional capacities and diversifying suppliers.

Moderated by: Ms Shada Islam, Founder / Advisor, New Horizons Project 

  • Mr Manuel Pauser, Co-chair of the FESI Trade committee & Vice President, Global Government Affairs, Adidas
  • Mr Leonardo Mosca, Trade Policy Manager at Cerame-Unie, representing AEGIS Europe
  • Mr Omar Hameed, Economic Minister of the Embassy of Pakistan in Belgium 
  • MEP (TBC)

16:30 - 17:00   Discussion with participants

17:00 - 17:15   Closing session

  • Ms Ewa Synowiec, Director of Directorate C, Africa, Caribbean and Pacific, Asia (II), Trade and Sustainable Development, Green Deal, DG Trade 
  • Dr Willem van der Geest, Team Leader, GSP Hub Project

Register here:

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