DTI to give more lectures on FTAs (Business World)

TO BOOST the country’s use rate of free trade agreements, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is planning to give more lectures on FTAs the Philippines is party to and tap social media to expand the program’s reach.

DTI Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal told reporters late Wednesday that the agency conducted 125 Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) lectures to show local small- and medium-sized companies how to maximize benefits of the country’s trade pacts to generate higher revenues.

“We had 125 DBFTA sessions last year, which was higher than 2012’s 100 sessions. For this year, we aim to conduct 130 sessions and also use social media and update our Web site to reach more people,” said Mr. Cristobal.

At present, the Philippines only has one bilateral FTA, the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement.

As a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), however, the Philippines also enjoys trade benefits through the regional bloc’s FTAs with China, Australia and New Zealand, South Korea, and India.

ASEAN groups the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Myanmar.

Mr. Cristobal said since the start of DBFTA sessions in 2010, the country’s FTA utilization rate has increased.

“We were the top user in the region of the FTA with Australia and New Zealand,” he added.

With the DTI said to be becoming more aggressive in its information campaigns, Mr. Cristobal expressed hope that the Philippines will have the highest utilization rate of all FTAs in the region.

By Daryll Edisonn D. Saclag

Original source: http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Economy&title=DTI-to-give-more-lectures-on-FTAs&id=81716