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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

DTI brass says PH stands to benefit from RCEP

Government optimistic on RCEP’s benefits

MANILA – Trade and Industry Asst. Secretary Atty. Allan B. Gepty expressed optimism the country will benefit from the recently-signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and would boost chances for quick recovery as the economy reels from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said it would be beneficial to the micros, small and medium enterprises together with the manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

Speaking before the “Virtual Presser” hosted by PCOO Asst. Secretary JV Lim Arcena, Asst. Secretary Gepty said the RCEP’s signing is a welcome development because “it is a strong demonstration of the region’s commitment in ensuring a stable and predictable regional economic architecture amidst uncertainties and the growing trend of protectionism worldwide.”

“It is in effect an affirmation to a rules-based system for international trade. It is also viewed as a confidence building milestone in this tome of pandemic, especially as we work towards recovery from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

He added RCEP is said to be the largest free trade deal as it covers about 40% of the population, 30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and 28% of the global trade. Aside from being modern, it is also comprehensive, and mutually beneficial free trade agreement.

Asst. Secretary Gepty said RCEP will provide a “timely boost” for thee economic development of the Philippines, specially so that the country is in the midst of the pandemic.

RCEP is seen to give the country’s manufacturers sources of cheaper imported goods, raw materials and other products from other member-countries. It will be convenient to do business as RCEP simplified the rules of businesses and investors where a clear mechanism on transparency and consultation related to the issues in trade and trading partners.

He added in the RCEP region, participating countries will have uniform rules for protecting intellectual property rights as RCEP will complement ongoing reforms and existing programs and initiatives of government, specifically on the resurgence of the manufacturing sector in the country.

On the other hand, last year, the Philippines exported its products to APEC economies and reached US$59.8 billion which is said to be 84.4% of the country’s total exports. Last year, the country’s imports amounted to US$93.88 billion, which is 84.1% of the total imports.

“In terms of investments, the Philippines received 90.7% of approved investments from the 21 member economies of APEC. (Melo M. Acuña)

Trade and Industry Asst. Secretary Allan B. Gepty. (Screen Grab from PCOO Virtual Presser)

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