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“Country ready for integration” – APEC

Posted by graham on August 23rd, 2013 in About the Philippines

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio B. Coloma, Jr. had assured finance executives that the Philippines is ready for a regional economic integration by 2015. This project is connected to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic integration project.

“We’re not significantly lagging behind, and we’re not sleeping on the job in the ASEAN economic integration if we go by the APEC assessment,” said Secretary Coloma during a forum organised by the Financial Executives Institute of Cebu, Inc.

Secretary Coloma also mentioned that in APEC’s assessment of the Philippines based on the economic forum’s Bogor Goals scorecard. The country is at par or ahead of the APEC, except for the number of products that have zero tariff.

The Philippine tariffs are 9.8% for agricultural products and 5.7% for non-agricultural products, APEC’s goal was 11.9% and 4.9% respectively. In import and exports, the Philippine’s overall score is 3.14%, which is just a bit lower than APEC’s target of 3.38%

Secretary Coloma explained that if it is compared to the APEC overall average, it is cheaper to import or export in the Philippines and the lead time for such transactions would only differ by a day. Despite this, he said that the country should increase the number of goods that have zero tariff.

Mr. Coloma said that despite this improving numbers, there is a need for greater collaboration with the business community as well as other sectors to be able to overcome challenges. These collaborations could be in forms of establishing more airports and seaports as well as an increase in agricultural production.

Source: Business World Online