The full potential of small, medium and medium enterprise (MSME) exporters for trade agreements remains largely unfulfilled, pointing to the need for the government to talk about the benefits of such preferential treatment, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.
“The government must empower MSMEs, especially those that are export-oriented, to encourage them to expand their market reach and use preferential trade measures to level the playing field,” said Alan B., Assistant Secretary of Commerce. Gap said during a recent workshop hosted by ARISE Plus the Philippines project.
“Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 2020, MSMEs have created more than 5 million jobs, comprising 62.66% of the country’s total employment,” Mr Gap added.
Among the trade agreements that the Philippines is signing, Mr Gepty said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was especially important for MSMEs because of its consistent and improved trade facilitation for member economies.
The RCEP consists of 10 members from Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“RCEP’s core rules, for example, contain a single set of requirements for ASEAN and its key business partners to enter each other’s markets, mostly under duty-free treatment,” Mr Gap said.
“It will be easier for Philippine exporters to comply with certificates and forms and adopt preferential measures because they only need to review and meet RCEP requirements instead of studying and intervening in the requirements of various free trade agreements depending on the country they depend on. Export, ”he added.
The Philippines has yet to sign the RCEP after the Senate failed to approve it before the February 3 break for the May election. President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the RCEP agreement on 2 September.
The ARISE Plus Philippines project, a four-year project funded by the European Union, seeks to develop Philippine trade efficiency and competitiveness in order to bring inclusive economic growth and reduce poverty. – Reverend Mikhail d. Ochav