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Philippines: Trade facilitation key in hitting this year抯 exports growth goalTuesday, September 29, 2015 > 10:35:00
Exporters are working to achieve the eight to 10-percent exports growth target this year amid softening of major overseas markets, banking on the implementation of trade facilitation measures.
“Such measures should be able to cover for areas where there could be market failures,” said Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PhilExport) president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. during a briefing on Asean Single Window (ASW).
Ortiz-Luis cited studies that indicated trade facilitation is the key to reducing the cost of international trade transactions through simplification and harmonization of trade procedures.
Another study made for Asean and East Asia also revealed that inefficient trade procedure such as a day’s delay in a shipment reduces trade volume by at least one percent, he said.
To facilitate trade, Ortiz-Luis said his group, in cooperation with concerned government agencies, is pursuing programs such as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), the National Single Window and the ASW, and Automated Export Documentation System (AEDS).
He cited the Congress approval of the landmark and long-sought pieces of legislation such as the Philippine Competition Act and the Co-loading Act that amends the cabotage principle. Both bills have impact on the cost of goods and services.
Ortiz-Luis also remained hopeful that the current Congress would approve a direct trade facilitation intervention called the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
CMTA is supposed to be consistent with the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures, better known as RKC, he said.
The exporters’ group head identified other proposals and programs such as self-certification and e-certification, e-filing of government documents, virtual trade repository, one-stop shops and similar projects which are deemed complementary trade facilitation moves.
In July, Philippine exports declined anew by nearly two percent to $5.32 billion amid softening of its major export markets such as China and the still fragile economic growth of Japan and the United States.
This brought the country’s seven-month exports to $34.21 billion, still a decline of 4.1 percent from $35.65 billion recorded in the same period last year.