Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 8 in partnership with the Export Management Bureau (EMB) conducted an Information Session on Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) held last July 25, 2017 at the Hotel Alejandro.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is an agreement between two or more countries to eliminate or reduce tariffs and other requirements of commerce that restrict trade between them. Philippines is committed to the following FTAs: (1) ASEAN – Korea Free Trade Area (AKFTA); (2) ASEAN – Australia – New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA); (3) ASEAN – India Free Trade Area (AIFTA); (4) ASEAN – Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEPA); (5) Philippines – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA); (6) ASEAN – China Free Trade Area (ACFTA); (7) ASEAN Free Trade Area.

DTI-EMB Region 8 DBFTA Info Session
Assistant Director Agnes Perpetua Legaspi of the Export Management Bureau talks about Free Trade Agreement during the Information Session on DBFTA last July 25, 2017.

To properly disseminate the advantage that the MSMEs has, in doing business in free trade areas, the EMB embarks on the conduct of “Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) Orientation and Workshops”. This is intended to empower the MSMEs and encourage them to do business across counties with free trade agreements with the Philippines.

21 potential and existing exporting enterprises from the local food processing, homestyle and wearables sectors were present. Among the participants was Eva

Marie Arts and Crafts who has been participating in Foreign Trade Fairs showcasing her delicately woven ticog bags from Basey, Samar.

This information session covers discussions on market opportunities, tariff reductions, rules of origin, and customs procedure, in line with the ASEAN Economic Community’s goal of empowering exporters with the awareness of tariff elimination. These are essential to prepare the region’s MSMEs for the global market. Speakers of the said activity were Assistant Director Agnes Perpetua Legaspi, Frederick Etrata and Romina Blacer of EMB; Salvador Ballano of Tariff Commission; and Gina German of Bureau of Customs.

This year, EMB is more purposive and sector-focused, targeting to orient and guide these enterprises from the region, in availing grants of preferential tariffs and Certificate of Origin through the FTA and the Generalized System of Preference (GSP).