1st Philippines – European Free Trade Association trade talks


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The first round of free trade talks between the Philippines and the members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – convened last week (24-27 March 2015) in Makati, Philippines. The delegations were led by Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. (left) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the Philippines and Ambassador Didier Chambovey (right) of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) representing the four EFTA Member States. The free trade negotiation was launched four months after both sides agreed on the objectives and key principles of the negotiations. Various working groups convened to discuss areas such as trade in goods, services, investments, intellectual property rights, competition, government procurement, trade and sustainable development and legal and institutional issues. Prior to the formal trade talks, a Joint Declaration on Cooperation between the Philippines and EFTA was signed on 23 June 2014 in Iceland. The next round of negotiations is scheduled on 30 June-3 July 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. (DTI-PRU)

Philippines International Furniture Show


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Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Gregory L. Domingo closely looks at one of the furniture pieces of Calfurn Manufacturing Philippines, Inc. displayed during the recent Philippines International Furniture Show at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on March 13, 2015. He is joined by (from left) Calfurn Manufacturing Philippines, Inc. Chairman of the Board Erdy P. Feliciano, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, and Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. The DTI has been has been steadfast in reinforcing the Philippines’ position as a sourcing hub for creative and design-forward home and fashion products. It has been continuously supporting the industry as well as promoting through its local design and lifestyle events and Philippine participation in international trade shows. Feliciano said that the Calfurn has been in the furniture industry for 39 years, and DTI has been supportive in promoting their products. The company is currently exporting to US, Canada, Australia and Europe. With the European Union’s (EU) recent grant of new Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme or GSP+ status to the Philippines, Feliciano looks forward to expand in the European market. (DTI-PRU)

PH firms up position as sourcing hub for home and fashion products


Through the Manila FAME, the country’s premiere design and lifestyle event, the Philippines continues to strengthen its position as a sourcing hub for creative and design-forward home and fashion products.

“I see fantastic world-class design here and innovation. I come for the style. I come to the Philippines five times a year because I order containers from different companies and attend at least one show a year,” Phillips Collection Chief Executive Officer and President Mark Phillips said in an interview during the 61 edition of the Manila FAME.

Philips came to this edition of the Manila FAME upon invitation from Commercial Counselor Maria Roseni M. Alvero of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Washington D.C., USA.

This recent edition of the Manila FAME, the country’s premiere design and lifestyle event, features Philippine-made furniture and home furnishings, holiday gifts, décor, and fashion accessories for the global market.

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PTIC Beijing Attends Boao Forum in Hainan


Sub-Forum on Jointly Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road

On March 28, 2015, the session of Jointly Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and launching ceremony of the Year of China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation was held during the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2015. State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn of Thailand, and others attended and addressed the event.

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China State Councilor Yang Jiechi

Yang Jiechi noted that the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road aims to continue pushing forward the Silk Road spirit featuring peace, friendship, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit as well as the all-round maritime cooperation. China stands ready to work together with other countries to build maritime partnerships of win-win cooperation. China is ready to work with other countries to deepen mutual trust, connect development strategies, match maritime projects and intensify institutional connectivity and so that results can be gained at an early date. As this year marks the Year of China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation, it is hoped that the all-dimensional maritime cooperation between China and the ASEAN will become a model for the development of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

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Expanding in the world market


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Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory L. Domingo (center) confers with United States (US) Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg (left) during the Manila FAME on March 13, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Joining Domingo are (from left) his wife Rowena Domingo, Museum Foundation of the Philippines President Maritess M. Pineda, and Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) Executive Director Rosario Virginia C. Gaetos. In Manila FAME’s 61st edition, the DTI together with CITEM continue to work on expanding the country’s home and fashion products in major markets, including the US. Last year, Manila FAME generated US$27.6 million potential export sales. Manila FAME is the country’s premiere design and lifestyle event. It ran from March 13 to 16, 2015. (DTI-PRU)