L-R: Moderator Sarah Murphy, DA Undersecretary Asis Perez, Secretary Frederick Go, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, Private Sector Advisory Council Member Ms. Rizalina Mantaring, Private Public Partnership Center Executive Director Ma. Cynthia Hernandez

PASAY CITY, PHILIPPINES — At the Philippine Economic Briefing Forum on May 27, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual proclaimed the Philippines’ strong positioning for economic prosperity. He outlined key initiatives to strengthen economic partnerships and promote exports.

“We at the DTI are charting a course to ensure the Philippines continues its impressive economic growth trajectory. By deepening our economic partnerships, aggressively promoting our exports, and unlocking the untapped potential of our local industries, we are confident that the Philippines will solidify its position as a significant player in the global market,” said the DTI chief.

The DTI capitalizes on trade agreements, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), through annual international trade forums that directly connect businesses with export opportunities arising from the agreement. Additionally, the DTI leads educational campaigns, providing vital information and resources to ensure businesses understand and leverage RCEP effectively.

RCEP, the world’s largest free trade area led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, unifies preceding agreements with major economies like Australia, China, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand.  It aims to streamline the region’s business environment and bolster its resilience against emerging economic challenges.

This partnership offers crucial support for services, investments, intellectual property, e-commerce, and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. Furthermore, a significant share of the Philippines’ trade and foreign direct investment comes from RCEP member nations.

While reaping its benefits, the DTI recognizes concerns about a potential surge in imported goods following RCEP’s implementation. To address this, the Department has proactively implemented the Import Surge Monitoring System.

Launched in May 2023, this system tracks import volumes of sensitive industrial products, allowing the DTI to identify potential threats to local manufacturers, as well as push for trade remedies or policy interventions to ensure a level playing field.

Complementing the wider market access from RCEP, the Department fosters the growth of promising sectors with high export potential with the Halal industry as a prime example. The DTI formed a dedicated Halal Task Force to tap the industry’s potential through strategic initiatives, prioritizing building partnerships with Halal-driven economies, and establishing a network of reputable certifying bodies.

With the strategic efforts to develop local industries for exports, Secretary Pascual leveraged the Philippines primed to become a key player on the global stage.

“By forging strategic partnerships, the DTI is opening doors for Philippine exports to enter global value chains and access new markets. This, coupled with our focus on developing world-class Filipino products and services, strengthens the Philippine economy’s long-term resilience,” the trade chief said.

The PEB Manila, organized by the Department of Finance and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, served as a platform for the country’s economic managers to engage with industry leaders and build on the Philippines’ growth potential. ♦

Date of release: 29 May 2024