DTI pushes gov’t agencies to trim official issuances

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) encourages other national government agencies (NGAs) to replicate its recent endeavor in eliminating redundancies in official department issuances to simplify government procedures, and hasten action and decision-making.

“We hope that our recent effort in DTI to streamline our official issuances will be followed by other national government agencies to make their administrative systems simpler and more efficient for all concerned,” DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said.

The DTI recently delisted department administrative orders (DAOs) that are already out of time, obsolete, or no longer used due to change in environment, and in doing so, eradicate redundancies in the agency.

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The Philippines and the EU launch negotiations for a free trade agreement

Philippine Secretary of Trade and Industry Gregory Domingo and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström today agreed to start negotiations for a Philippines-EU free trade agreement (FTA).

Both sides share the ambition to conclude an agreement that covers a broad range of issues, including elimination of customs duties and other barriers to trade, services and investment, access to public procurement markets, as well as additional disciplines in the area of competition and protection of intellectual property rights. The prospective agreement will also include a comprehensive chapter that will ensure that closer economic relations between the Philippines and the EU go hand in hand with environmental protection and social development.

“EU is one of the country’s largest trading partner and investment source. We would like to lock in the duty-free market access we obtained through the EU GSP-plus last year and expand this preferential access to substantially all the traded products to EU. As with our recent experience with GSP-plus, we are optimistic that investments will start to come in with improvements in market access” said Secretary Domingo. He added that “With improved market access and greater opportunity for investments, supported by commitments on sustainable development, we are confident that this FTA will contribute to the country’s objective of creating decent jobs”.

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WTO Information Technology Agreement Expanded: PH to benefit from tariff free trade of ICT products

A group of 53 World Trade Organization (WTO) members, including the Philippines, finalized the agreement to expand the product coverage of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The agreement, reached on 17 December 2015 at the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, now covers the elimination of tariffs for new generation semi-conductors, Global Positioning System or GPS navigation equipment, and medical equipment, such as magnetic resonance imaging products and ultra-sonic scanning apparatus.

"The ITA expansion represents a huge step forward for innovation and economic growth the world over. It will deliver huge benefits to the Philippines in terms of improved productivity and market access, particularly for the electronics and semiconductor industry. The agreement makes our country more attractive to potential foreign direct investments (FDIs) particularly from key ICT players such as US, Japan, and EU,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory Domingo.

Annual trade on the 201 products covered by the Agreement is worth over USD1.3 trillion per year, and accounts for approximately 10% of total global trade today. Under the terms of the agreement, the 53 WTO member-participants agreed to reduce tariffs on covered goods beginning 1 July 2016, with around 65% of these tariff lines eliminated by end of 2016. By 2019, 89% of tariff lines will be eliminated. Zero tariffs on all products will be achieved by 2022.

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Improving PH investment climate

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Improving PH investment climate. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory L. Domingo (fifth from left) and Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr. (fifth from right) poses with (from left) Korean Chamber of Commerce Director and Chair of Legislative Ki-Seok Han, Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional/Operating Headquarters (PAMURI) President Dan Molloy, European Chamber of Commerce External Affairs Vice-President Henry Schumacher, Japanese Chamber of Commerce President Yoshio Amano, Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) Executive Director for External Affairs Genny Marcial, Japanese Chamber of Commerce Vice-President Nobuo Fujii, American Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ebb Hinchliffe, American Chamber of Commerce Senior Advisor Mr. John D. Forbes, and American Chamber of Commerce Government/Media Liaison Yves Aguilos during a meeting with the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) on December 11, 2015 at the Industry and Investments Building in Makati City. One of the topics discussed in the meeting was the fifth anniversary of the launch of Arangkada Philippines, JFC’s major advocacy to increase investment and employment in the Philippines. JFC is a coalition of the American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese and Korean Chambers in the Philippines and PAMURI, representing over 3,000 member companies engaged in trade and investment. (DTI-PRU)

DTI integrates MSMEs agenda in promotion efforts abroad

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) works to incorporate the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) agenda in its trade and investment promotion efforts through its various commercial posts overseas.

“We should not lose the opportunity of joining the bandwagon in pushing for MSMEs development,” DTI Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya said during the recent Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) Planning Conference.

Maglaya talked about DTI’s support in the internationalization of MSMEs, particularly on how to bring MSMEs to be active participant, not just as direct exporters but eventually to be part of the global value chain.

“In the Boracay Action Agenda, we are talking about how do we really put them (MSMEs) front and center (of regional and global trade). So, we look into significant contributors of economic growth, trade, employment, poverty alleviation, and innovation,” Maglaya said.

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