DTI to assist exporters to benefit from RCEP – The Manila Times

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MICRO, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can benefit from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) if they are given assistance in acquiring the necessary documents to export products or services.

“If there is transparency, if you know the rules on how to export in RCEP parties, as MSME, you will understand how to navigate the one RCEP party,” said Trade and Investment Assistant Secretary for International Trade Policy and Trade Negotiation Allan Gepty in an interview with reporters on April 20.

Also, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will establish centers to assist exporters in getting applications and certifications, and give them access to rules and regulations, among others.

“We really have to empower [them]. We really have to capacitate them so that they can [also] sell their products outside the Philippines. Because if they do not, they will just end up focusing on the local market,” he explained.

“For example you are a seller of papaya in Mindanao and you came to know that there is a preferential arrangement for your papaya fruits in South Korea, then at least you have that interest to sell your papaya fruits to South Korea. That interest can be triggered if you know how to export this product to the South Korean market,” he added.

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Moreover, e-commerce is also a big factor for MSMEs to reap the benefits of RCEP as trading online has also become the trend.

Gepty said the country’s exporters have 10 years to finish requirements to take advantage of RCEP, but they should act earlier. He added the country can ask for an extension.

“And, in fact, to be safe, you can ask for a longer extension. There are also countries who have given a longer extension like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, which is no later than 20 years,” he added.

The DTI is also pushing other trade agreements with select countries.

“Well, of course, in South Korea, which is in ‘for signing’ status, which hopefully [will] be signed this June [2023], the United Arab Emirates Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, and our preferential trade agreement with India which is only for goods,” Gepty said.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is also included and other free trade agreements with Australia-New Zealand, the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations, China, and Canada, among others.

“We have already conducted some evaluation, but we [also] want to see the views of some experts on this,” he said.