Trade Policy Review of Philippines

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - Trade policy reviews are mandated in World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements. All WTO members, including the Philippines, are reviewed, taking into account their shares of world trade. The 4th WTO Trade Policy Review of the Philippines, released in March 21, 2012, by the WTO Secretariat, said that the Philippines, since its review in 2005, has instituted reforms to facilitate trade and improve the business environment such as automating Customs procedures, moving toward a national single window and streamlining the registration of business names. For six years in 2005-2011, the Philippines had an annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 5 percent, moderate inflation, and surplus in its external account due to high remittances inflows. Philippine growth, the report noted, "has been broad-based across private consumption, investment and exports, and was helped by fiscal stimulus implemented in 2008 and 2011 in response to the global economic crisis."

While the Philippine economy has been described as "performing well" due to its open trade regime, WTO observed, it continues to be beset by key constraints to growth. WTO recommended that the country improve its productivity to enable it to compete with neighboring economies, improve its human capital, eliminate limitations on foreign investment, and reduce incentives and reform state-owned institutions. …