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‘Everything But Arms’ Online Workshop by EU’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) 

📢 The EU GSP hub is organizing its next beneficiary country workshop in Laos!

The workshop is dedicated to supporting Lao stakeholders from the business sector, public officials as well as civil society to maximize the benefits of the ‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA), which is part of the EU’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP). The event will raise awareness of EBA benefits and provide a forum to discuss how Lao stakeholders can further leverage the advantages of the arrangement.
Furthermore, the event will introduce participants to the GSP+ as an opportunity to maintain preferential access to the EU market after LDC graduation. EU imports from Lao PDR have steadily increased in the last decade and amounted to EUR 307 million in 2020. About 80% of exports from Lao PDR are eligible for EBA preferences and the country takes great advantage of the preferential access to the EU market, the preference utilisation rate most recently stood at 94.5%. The most important product sections which are exported using EBA preferences are clothing (51%), prepared foodstuffs (14%), and footwear/headgear (9%).

Event Details:

📆 Date: 16th – 17th of September 2021
🕘 Time: 14.30 -17.00
💻 Venue: Zoom

⏰ Day 1: 16 September 2021

Leveraging Trade Opportunities under the EU’s ‘Everything But Arms’

  • Keynote and welcome – H.E. Ms Ina Marčiulionytė, EU Ambassador to Lao PDR
  • Keynote and welcome – Representative, Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Lao PDR(tbc)
  • Introduction to the GSP Hub Project – Dr Willem van der Geest, Team Leader, GSP Hub Project

15:00 – 16:55 Leveraging Trade Opportunities under the EU’s ‘Everything But Arms’

  • 15:00 Introductory remarks
    • Ms Vidya Nathaniel, Trade Policy Consultant at the International Trade Centre
  • 15:05 Input talk: Export potential of Lao products on the EU market.
    • Ms Julia Spies, Head of Trade Data, Tools, and Analysis, International Trade Centre
  • 15:25 Input talk: Opportunities of sustainable agricultural products
    • Mr Laurent Lourdais, Counsellor, Agriculture, SPS, Environment, Delegation of the European Union to Thailand
  • 15:45 Q&A with participants
  • 16:00 Panel Discussion: Leveraging the potential of EBA preferencesmoderated by Dr Willem van der Geest, followed by Q&A with participants
    • Representative, Ministry of Industry and Commerce (tbc)
    • Mr Peter Fogde, President ECCIL
    • Mr Poul Skov Petersen, Senior Administration Manager, Mascot International (Lao) Sole Co., Ltd
    • Representative, Fruit and Vegetable exporter (tbc)

This session will focus on EBA preferences and on the question how Lao PDR could further leverage the benefits and opportunities the EBA provides. As part of this session, speakers will highlight products with potential on the EU market as well as ways to overcome existing impediments or challenges leading to underutilisation of preferences in certain product sections.

⏰ Day 2: 17 September 2021

Trade with the EU after LDC graduation Opportunities under the GSP+

  • 15:00 Welcome and introduction
    • Dr Willem van der Geest, Team Leader, GSP Hub Project
  • 15:05 Input talk: What is the EU’s GSP+, its opportunities and requirements? with Q&A session
    • Ms Kristiyana Kalcheva, Policy Officer, Generalised Scheme of Preferences, DG Trade, European Commission
  • 15:30 Input talk: GSP+ Business Focus: Implications and opportunities for Lao exporters. with Q&A session
    • Mr Christophe Fontaine, International Relations Officer – Preferential origin – General, GSP, Asia and Oceania, DG TAXUD, European Commission (tbc)
  • 16:00 Input talk: The GSP+ and international values- meeting the eligibility criteria for GSP+ accession. with Q&A session
    • Mr Graeme Buckley, Director of the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific and ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR

This session will take a more forward-looking perspective, focussing on how the trade relationship between the EU and Lao PDR could be structured following LDC graduation. The GSP+ provides the opportunity to maintain preferential access to the EU market and to facilitate sustainable development and economic growth domestically.

16:30 – 17:00 Closing Session

with closing remarks by

  • Representative, Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Lao PDR (tbc)
  • Representative, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare of Lao PDR (tbc)
  • Mr Vincent Vire, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Lao PDR (tbc)
💰 Registration Fee:
Free of charge