APEC urged: Keep markets open for trade

Respect and observance of the rules-based trading system is a prerequisite to a conducive open market and a crucial element in promoting trade and sustainable development.

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual has urged his counterparts in the Asia Pacific region to keep markets open for trade, which he thinks will avert the present challenges being faced by most countries right now, particularly inflation and other economic uncertainties.

During the 33rd APEC Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, the country’s Trade chief highlighted the need to enhance cooperation to achieve a strong recovery together with a view to promoting sustainable trade and development amid headwinds that the world is facing.

Pascual, in a meeting with trade and foreign ministers from the Asia-Pacific region last 17 November, highlighted the need to keep the market open for trade and investment under a functioning rules-based trading system.

“Respect and observance of the rules-based trading system is a prerequisite to a conducive open market and a crucial element in promoting trade and sustainable development,” Pascual said.

He also called on ministers to observe the decisions and agreements made at the 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Meeting held last June in Geneva, Switzerland, on the other hand, expressed the Philippines’ commitment to implement the Fisheries Subsidies Agreement, and its active engagement in the agriculture negotiations and the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Council waiver, among others.

Likewise, as a contribution to APEC’s work to build resilient supply chains, the Philippines is leading the initiatives on the safe passage of maritime crew.

Maritime crew and seafarers are key actors in supply chains and are responsible for the delivery of essential goods and products.

The DTI chief urged economies to implement “sound government policies and cooperative measures” that will provide for the health and safety of essential workers.

At the Philippine-led Policy Roundtable on the Safe Passage of APEC Maritime Crew, APEC members adopted a set of recommendations to ensure their protection.

Maritime workers are vital to the Philippine economy, as they comprise 253,393 workers worldwide in 2021 and account for $388.6 million of the country’s gross domestic product as reported by UNCTAD.

On the Philippines’ trade policy agenda, Pascual said that the innovation-centered strategy of the Philippines aims to attain sustainable and inclusive development.


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