Reinforcing measures in place to boost PHL potential – WTO report

The Philippines can realize its true potential by reinforcing government efforts to improve infrastructure, business environment and tourism, the World Trade Organization said in a report released Tuesday.

The report, based on last week’s World Trade Policy Review in Geneva, Switzerland, was issued by the WTO Secretariat.

Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. led the Philippine delegation to the review in Geneva.

Colombian Ambassador Eduardo Muñoz presided as chair of the WTO Trade Policy Review body, and Martin Glass, permanent representative of Hong Kong, China, served as discussant.

“The Philippine economy is poised for sustained and rapid inclusive growth with a trusted, credible, and committed political leadership,” Cristobal said in a statement.

“The substantial reforms in governance and institutions well underway will further deepen, strengthening the country’s overall competitiveness,” he added.

WTO members observed with keen interest the review session of the Philippines, according to the undersecretary, noting that it provided participants with an overall picture of measures in place that lent resilient against economic uncertainties, the global economic crises, oil price shocks, and natural disasters.

The European Union welcomed the thrust to promote transparent governance and anti-corruption, and the United States acknowledged the Philippines government's fight against corruption and the will to support expanded growth under the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016.

These have the potential to enhance Philippine economic performance and make it an attractive place for trade and investments, Cristobal said, citing remarks from other WTO members during the review session.

The Philippines expects high and continuous economic growth in the years to come, and continued reforms will ensure inclusive growth and sustainable development, Cristobal added.

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