Exporters Told to Take Advantage of FTAs
The Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport) has called on exporters to take full advantage of trade pacts the Philippines has signed with other Asian countries as an added strategy to ride through the raging global economic slump.
Philexport president Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr. made the appeal in the wake of government report that November exports fell by negative 11.9 percent compared to the same month last year.
"We have integrated specific programs to help industry groups ride on the crisis in the new export plan that is awaiting government funding assistance," Ortiz-Luis said. Most of those programs have medium to long-term impact.
The sector is banking on the P1-billion Export Promotions Fund (EPF) committed by President Arroyo when she signed the new export plan late last year to be able to push through the urgent projects.
Government funds are expected to be released soon after Congress approves the 2009 national budget. As an added tactic, Filipino exporters should take full advantage of the preferential tariff privileges provided in free trade agreements (FTAs) the country has signed.
The latest of these trade agreements is the Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Agreement (JPEPA) which took effect last December 11 following the ratification by the Philippine Senate and the ASEAN-India FTA which the Senate is yet to approve. …