Traders often find it difficult to access information about permits and licenses they need to comply with to export or import a product. A Trade Repository, a web portal that provides all the information needed by a trader to conduct his business, particularly trade-related measures, is in the process of construction for member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“Integration efforts in the ASEAN region will harness technology to support the goals of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Trade repositories help facilitate the free flow of goods and services among member-states, and address ease of doing business issues across the region,” Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr said.

ASEAN, with the support of the European Union – ASEAN Regional Integration (ARISE Project) together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will conduct a “National Workshop on the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR)/National Trade Repository (NTR)/Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) and Notification Procedure under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA)” in Manila this week. The activity is intended as a capacity building workshop for member-agencies of the Ad-Hoc Technical Working Group on the Philippine Trade Repository. The Group is tasked to establish the Philippine Repository. The lead agency for the undertaking is the DTI-Bureau of Import Services.

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The highly technical 2-day workshop will bring together mid to senior level officials of relevant government agencies working on trade in ASEAN. The officials will discuss issues on the development of the ATR including alignment with the member-state’s NTR, IT interface, definition of a Standard Classification System for the ATR, and standardization of notification forms

In the Philippines, efforts to build the National Trade Repository is being led by the Department of Trade and Industry, as chair of the Committee for the ASEAN Economic Community (CAEC). The Committee is chaired by Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr. of the Industry Development Group of DTI.