The Department of Trade and Industry chief has sought the smoother facilitation of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement or ATIGA commitments, particularly in the issuance and acceptance of certificates of origin.
During his attendance at the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting held on 13 to 15 September 2022 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Pascual told counterparts that “Outright rejection of ATIGA tariff preferences due to failure of ticking a relevant box in the CO does not support ASEAN’s trade facilitation goals and discourages companies from using our FTAs.”
ATIGA aims to achieve a free flow of goods in the region resulting in fewer trade barriers and deeper economic linkages among the member states, lower business costs, increased trade, and a larger market and economies of scale for businesses.
The 54th AEM Meeting was convened to discuss critical issues within the ASEAN region such as strengthened economic integration and relations with dialogue Partners to facilitate post-pandemic growth and recovery.
Trade moves backed
On the other hand, Pascual expressed support for several initiatives that seek to facilitate greater economic integration in the region, including the launch of the ATIGA upgrade negotiations, the negotiations for an ASEAN Framework Agreement on Competition, the extension of the memorandum of understanding on essential goods, and the status of Cambodia’s Priority Economic Deliverables for the year as part of their ASEAN Chairmanship this year.
“Out of the 19 Priority Economic Deliverables or PEDs that were put together, we are pleased to see that significant progress has been made and we look forward to ASEAN’s continued cooperation and acceleration of efforts for the timely completion of the remaining PEDs,” Pascual said.
Externally, the Philippines welcomed the progress made in the negotiations for the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and the ASEAN-Canada FTA, as well as the implementation of economic cooperation work plans with ASEAN’s dialogue partners.
The 54th AEM Meeting and Related Meetings ended on Sunday, where dialogue partners namely Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United Kingdom will be meeting with ASEAN Economic Ministers to discuss economic cooperation and flows of goods, services and investments.
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