DBFTA program ends 2016, 35% over target
Business Mirror
January 4, 2017

THE Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) Program of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) has ended 2016, going 35 percent over its target sessions of 200 for the year.

The program completed 270 sessions from January to December 2016, with a total of 32,003 attendees, 78 percent over its target participants of 18,000. Companies represented in those information sessions totaled 10,395, 4 percent over its target of 10,000 companies.

The DBFTA is an outreach program of the DTI-EMB that seeks to inform as many local manufacturers and would-be exporters as possible of the benefits of free trade agreements (FTAs) and generalized schemes of preferences (GSPs). DBFTA information sessions also aim to reach local government units, the academe including students and faculty, government agencies, and interested members of the public.

Many participants represent micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) whom the government sees as benefitting the most from these information sessions and who can assist the government expand its export targets and markets. Many sessions are held in the DTI-EMB’s headquarters in Gil J. Puyat Avenue in Makati City.

Teams of resource speakers from the DTI-EMB along with representatives from the Bureau of Customs, the Tariff Commission, the Bureau of Standards, the Board of Investments and the private sector also go to the different regions of the country to conduct these sessions.

Currently, the Philippines has FTAs with the other members of the Asean, New Zealand, Australia, China, India, South Korea, a bilateral one with Japan, and the European Free Trade Association.

The DBFTA program was launched in November 2010, with 11 sessions reaching 1,948 participants. In 2011, 78 sessions were held, attended by 8,631 participants.

In 2012, 116 sessions were held, 16 over the 100-session goal for the year, with 11,169 attendees over the 9,000 target. Representatives from 5,833 companies participated, 833 over the 5,000 target for the year.

In 2013, 125 sessions were targeted, with 140 held. Actual attendees reached 18,952, over 7,702 more than the 11,250 target for the year. Target companies totaled 6,250 and 6,308 companies participated.

In 2014, 195 sessions were held over the 150- session target, with 25,941 participants over the target of 13,500. A total of 7,534 companies participated over the 7,500 target.

In 2015,238 sessions were held, compared to the 175-session target. These were attended by 22,226 participants, compared to the 15,750 target. A total of 7,896 companies participated, lower than the 8,750 companies the program targeted to reach for the year.