Boracay, Aklan - The Philippines reiterated its full commitment to make green growth a reality by creating a climate conducive for trade and investments in the Environmental Goods and Services (EGS) sector during the 2nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Public-Private Partnership Dialogue on Environmental Goods and Services (PPEGS) held in Boracay, Aklan recently.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. said that the Philippines is amplifying efforts to promote trade and investment in the environmental goods and services sector to support green growth, build sustainable and resilient communities and businesses and advance efforts to address climate change in the Asia-Pacific Region.

During the meeting, industry representatives and policymakers from APEC member economies exchanged views on issues that hinder EGS trade and investments, undertook capacity-building activities relevant to their commitments for sustainable green growth, identified best practices to promote EGS trade and investment, and discussed the role of public-private partnerships (PPP) in facilitating trade in the APEC region.

“Our vision is to achieve a greener future for APEC member economies at the lowest possible cost, create new green jobs and utilize the latest environmental technologies to benefit all APEC member economies,” said Usec. Cristobal. He added that improved market access for environmental goods would stimulate trade and investment, reduce cost, and contribute to efforts addressing climate change. The Philippines has committed to align approaches to standards and conformance in the environmental goods sector and reduce the tariff rates of 54 environmental goods to 5% or less by the end of 2015.

Philippine initiatives to mainstream the environmental sector into regional and global value chains have so far resulted to the inclusion of the country’s photovoltaic industry in the environmental global value chain. A recent report of the International Trade Centre explained that the increase of Philippine exports of photovoltaic cells to over USD1 billion in export value in 2013 can be attributed to a number of foreign companies outsourcing parts of their manufacturing process to the Philippines.

Photovoltaics (PV), is a method of drawing from the sun’s energy and converting it into direct current electricity. A PV system uses solar panels to supply usable solar power. The direct conversion of sunlight to electricity does not use moving parts and does not result to environmental emissions during operation.

Issues that affect environmental goods and services identified during the dialogue have been forwarded to the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI), which in turn will discuss the acceleration of initiatives to increase trade and investments in EGS. (www.industrytradephilippines.com) (END)