From L-R (seated) – PHILEXPORT President and CEO Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr., DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual, From L-R (standing) PHILEXPORT Vice President for Advocacy, Communications and Special Concerns Ma. Flordeliza C. Leong, DTI Bureau of International Trade Relations Director Marie Sherylyn D. Aquia, and DTI International Trade Group Undersecretary Allan B. Gepty

Makati City, Philippines – On June 11, 2024, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to institutionalize a partnership between the government and the exporter community to increase utilization of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and other preferential arrangements.

Secretary Fred Pascual emphasized the importance of having an effective education campaign on the country’s FTAs by stating  “We aim to enable our exporters and would-be exporters to capitalize on the benefits of our free trade agreements, allowing them to leverage broader market access to promote Philippine products globally.”

The partnership is also intended to intensify the DTI’s Trade Education and Advocacy  Campaign, with the goal of optimizing the benefits offered by these FTAs such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the Philippine-European Free Trade Association, the Philippine Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) trade agreements.

Under the MOU, the DTI and PHILEXPORT will also collaborate on other key initiatives including capacity-building activities and mentorship programs, as well as the provision of networking and linkage opportunities for business and industry associations, among others.

Further, Secretary Pascual highlighted the strategic partnership will lay the foundation for a robust relationship that enhances both the DTI and PHILEXPORT’s collective efforts in trade facilitation, policy development, and economic growth.

“We welcome this renewed partnership and are confident that enhanced coordination between government and private sectors will lead to more efficient processes and increased competitiveness. Together, we will streamline processes, remove trade barriers, and expand market access, ensuring that Philippine products remain globally competitive,” he added.

PHILEXPORT is the country’s umbrella organization of exporters mandated to strengthen the country’s export industry through its advocacy, export promotion and development programs.  It has been the Department’s steadfast partner in bolstering the Philippine economy through exports.

With this partnership, DTI and PHILEXPORT aim to further work together to ensure the successful implementation of the Philippine Export Development Plan 2023-2028. In 2023, the Philippines recorded a combined goods and services exports value of USD 103.6 billion, reflecting a 4.8% increase from 2022. ♦

Date of release: 15 June 2024