PCCI concludes the study on Identifying and Addressing PH Free Trade Agreements Utilization Gaps

On 18 April 2024, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Human Resources Development Foundation, Inc. (PCCI HRDF) wrapped up its study on Identifying and Addressing Philippine Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) Utilization Gaps. They conducted a presentation and validation seminar attended by various stakeholders and government agencies, including the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Bureau of Customs (BOC), and Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Korea Trade Network (KTNET), among others. 

Independent International Trade Expert and Project Consultant Maes F. Alconel presented the analysis of Philippine FTA utilization and future policy directions and recommendations for maximizing the benefits of FTAs. Once implemented, these recommendations are expected to significantly impact the utilization of FTAs in the future. The PCCI HRDF Executive Director, Marlon P. Miña, moderated the discussion among the attendees, setting the stage for the next action phase.

The previous year, the PCCI HRDF initiated a research study titled “Identifying and Addressing the Gaps in Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Utilization among Philippine Businesses to Maximize their Sourcing, Productivity and Competitiveness.” This project aimed to assess import and exporters’ utilization of the country’s FTAs and develop more effective support programs to assist Philippine businesses in leveraging these agreements. The project was conducted in collaboration with the DTI, BOC, PHILEXPORT, and with support from the Export Development Council (EDC).

In early October 2023, they launched an online FTA survey and conducted a series of focus group discussions (FGDs) with the business sector across the country, including Naga, Cebu, Davao, Clark, and Metro Manila. The aim was to gather specific concerns and challenges faced by businesses in maximizing FTA benefits. Additionally, discussions were held with other relevant government agencies and entities such as DTI, BOC, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Tariff Commission (TC), NEDA, DA, and the Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. (CCBI) from November 2023 to February 2024. 

The discussions aimed to identify existing policies and support programs of the Philippine government aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and facilitating their participation in international trade, including the utilization of FTAs.

The final copy of the FTA Utilization study will be posted on PCCI HRDF’s website: https://pccihrdf.com/PLM

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