Asean certification sought for country’s exporters
The national government is negotiating with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to secure pilot coverage of the Asean self-certification process for the country.
Asst. Secretary Ramon Vicente Kabigting of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Industry Development and Trade Policy Group made the disclosure in yesterday’s forum titled “Doing business in free tree areas.”
Kabigting said securing an Asean self-certification will assure easier access to exporting raw materials and finished products in countries where the country has trade agreements within Asean like China, Japan, South Korea and Australia.
“It has been talked about since a couple of years ago in the association because we see it as something that will help our exporters especially the small players,” Kabigting said during yesterday’s forum held at the Cebu Parklane Hotel
He said the pilot coverage of Asean self-certification in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei will be extended for another year due to favorable results for these countries.
“It was actually Secretary Domingo (Gregory) who presented the proposal to Asean. Right now we are in the process of drafting the rules and regulations for the self-certification process,” Kabigting said.
He said they hope to submit the draft rules and regulations to the association by February of next year.
Based on DTI figures, Kabigting said 55 percent of the exports are from non-free trade area (FTA) markets.
About 45 percent come from FTA markets, Kabigting said.
“With the self-certification, we hope to encourage more trading and hit our target of US$120 billion by 2016,” Kabigting said.
The Philippines still lags behind Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam in terms of World Trading Ranking down at rank 52 compared to Indonesia’s 27th rank or Malaysia’s 23rd ranking. Thailand is ranked 25th while Vietnam is at rank 35.
“This despite our lower tariffs imposed. This only shows that we need reforms in domestic policies and ease of doing trades in the country,” Kabigting said.
Obra Cebuana general manager Edwin Rivera said the US used to be their major market with 70 percent of the customers based their while the rest only account for 30 percent.
“Now because of the FTAs, we were able to survive the economic crisis in the US and tapped other new markets like China and other countries in Latin America where we still don’t have FTAs,” Rivera said.