The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is seeing more opportunities in investments and exports with the impending implementation of the new Strategic Trade Management Law, expected to take effect in the first half of this year.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd signed the Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA), under the Republic Act 10697, in November last year.
The new law creates a Strategic Trade Management Office (STMO) under the DTI, which will be responsible for the registration of anyone who intends to engage in trade of “strategic goods,” as well as the issuing of licenses for the export, import, transit, transshipment re-export, or reassignment of strategic goods.
Strategic goods are products that require regulation and control for security reasons or due to international agreements.
Examples of these goods are accelerometers, which are common components of most cell phones; carbon fiber used as a material in sporting goods; nitric acid, a chemical that is used in fertilizers; and triethanolamine, a chemical used in cosmetics.
DTI Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said the STMA would help improve and promote investments in trading strategic goods in the country.
“Enacting an effective strategic trade law will provide greater opportunities for the Philippines to increase investments in the manufacture, assembly, and export of strategic goods,” Rodolfo said.
Rodolfo said that the STMA will provide manufacturers—from electronics, chemical, and aerospace industries in the country—vast opportunities to increase their production and exports of high-value strategic goods, either by expanding their operations or attracting new investors.
Given the need for regulation and control for security reasons, the DTI, with the Anti-Terrorism Council and other relevant agencies, are currently crafting the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRRs) which is expected to be released during the first semester of the year.
“Facilitating secure and safe trade in strategic goods will also contribute to domestic efforts to counter terrorism, control crime, safeguard public safety, and increase revenue collection as smuggling and trade diversion will be substantially minimized,” Rodolfo said.
“We are certain that there will also be an increase in demand for highly skilled workers such as engineers and scientists,” he added. He said that the manufacture of strategic goods requires people possessing technical know-how and expertise.
The STMA is in line with the Philippines’ foreign policy, national security interests, and commitment under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540.
The resolution obliges all members to develop and enforce appropriate legal and regulatory measures against the proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons and their means of delivery to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.