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Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary and Doing Business Task Force Chairman Ramon Lopez is confident that the Philippines (PH) will increase its ranking in the 2019 Doing Business Survey following the implementation of ease of doing business reforms.
 
During a meeting with World Bank and International Finance Corp. (WB-IFC) Doing Business topic team leaders Atty. Nadine Abi Chakra and Mr. Nuno Filipe Mendes Dos Santos, Secretary Lopez reported these reform initiatives:
 
* The Company Registration System of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is an online registration for corporations that automate the procedures of registering a firm.
 
* The Single Window Transaction Project of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) makes it easier for an applicant to submit requirements and get a Certification of Registration and Authority printed.
 
* At the local level, the One Stop Shops for Business Permit by the Quezon City Government significantly reduces the number of steps and days to get business permits by co-locating the Business Permits and Licensing Office, the Zoning Office, the Treasurer’s Office, and the Bureau of Fire Protection. This eliminates the need to go to various offices to submit requirements and get permits.
 
These measures will reduce the procedures in starting a business from 16 steps to 10, and shorten the processing time from 28 days to 16.
 
“With these reforms, we are optimistic that investors will be keen on expanding their businesses in the country and provide more jobs for Filipinos,” said Sec. Lopez.
 
The WB-IFC survey team is in the country for a week-long validation of Philippine initiatives.
 
The Doing Business Report is an annual survey published by the World Bank-International Finance Corporation that measures and ranks the ease and cost of doing business in 190 economies.
 
“We already succeeded in eliminating bottlenecks and streamlining procedures. The challenge now is how to fully implement automation and interconnectivity at all levels of government,” trade chief added.
 
The Philippines hopes to improve on its ranking, 113th place out of 190 economies, in the 2018 Doing Business Report. Particularly, the country ranked 173rd in starting a business, 149th in enforcing contracts, 146th in protecting minority investors and 142nd in getting credit. The Doing Business Task Force is the inter-agency group mandated to initiate, implement, and monitor the ease of doing business reforms in the country.♦
 
Date of release: 26 April 2018
 
DTI US coconut roadshow delegation
Philippine delegation for the 2017 Philippine Coconut Roadshow to the United States.

The Department of Trade and Industry through its Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTICs) in the United States recently concluded the 2017 Philippine Coconut Roadshow held from 6 to 24 September 2017 in key cities including Los Angeles, Colorado, San Francisco, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

“We see the increasing healthy, non-GMO, and gluten- free lifestyle of the American market as a window of opportunity for our exporters to promote their products as well as showcase the Philippines as an ideal source for coconut-based products,” said DTI Trade and Investments Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.

DTI supported 17 Philippine exporters enrolled in its Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters Plus (RIPPLES) program to extensively promote coconut oil and coconut-based products, including food, cosmetics, and personal care items to the huge US market.

Together with key officials from the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) and Virgin Coconut Oil Philippines (VCOP), the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers in the United States (Washington, D.C. and San Francisco) assisted and organized business meetings between American and Philippine companies for potential partnerships that seek to enhance and expand exports of Philippine coconut-based products to the United States. The group also met with US doctors and scientists that have in-depth knowledge on the benefits of coconut oil.

The group participated in the 50th ASEAN Anniversary Forum organized by the ASEAN Trade Commissioners in partnership with the Port of Los Angeles. The meetings with leading importers and retail chains in Los Angeles and San Francisco generated market leads and market access platforms for the participants.

For the Washington, D.C. leg, the Philippine Companies met with the US Department of Agriculture, the Organic Trade Association, the US–Philippines Society, Foodshowcase, the USA Halal Chamber of Commerce, and Registrar Corporation.

Participating exporters and Philippine officials were also briefed on the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Program, including identifying coconut products that could benefit from GSP treatment. Meetings held in Washington, D.C. highlighted the importance of trade policy issues when exporting to the United States, including compliance to US food safety regulations, labelling, and other non-tariff measures.

From 14 to 16 September, the delegation held a dialogue with several US companies during the Natural Product Expo East held in Baltimore, Maryland, considered as the East Coast’s leading trade show in the natural, organic, and healthy products industry. The delegation had a chance to exchange views on how to further promote and increase awareness to American consumers on the health benefits of coconut oil.

Participating companies include Amazing Foods Corp, Chemrez Technologies, Inc., Coco Plus, Coco Veda, Coconut Cures, Dignity, Eau de Coco, Franklin Baker Company of the Philippines, Galo Organic and Naturals, Greenlife Coconut Products Philippines, Inc., Hancole Corp., Marinduque Land Corporation, Pasciolco Agri Ventures, Nuco/ProSource International, Inc., Wellness Care International Inc., and Tongsan Industrial Development Corporation.

DTI’s Coconut Roadshow to the United States is in partnership with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), an agency committed to promote the growth of the coconut industry.♦

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