The Philippine government and the European Union (EU) is pushing the P453-million third phase of Trade-Related Technical Assistance Project (TRTA 3) to promote further integration of the country into the international and regional trading and investment system.
“TRTA 3 will pave the way for more economic breakthroughs for the Philippines and strengthen cooperation between our country and the EU,” said Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo.
This project aims to promote trade and investments in the Philippines as drivers of economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction.
TRTA 3 seeks to expand Philippines’ trade with the rest of the world to attract more local and foreign investments.
“The European Union’s commitment is to help the country [Philippines] undertake the necessary steps to see a Philippine economy that creates job, and take the country further on a sustainable growth path,” said EU Ambassador to the Philippines Guy Ledoux.
The project will enhance the government’s capacity to implement some of the key policies and technical priorities identified in the Philippine Development Plan 2012 to 2016. It will, for instance, support policy and regulatory reforms to strengthen the industry and promote genuine competition.
Also, it will contribute to the consolidation and establishment of new systems to reduce costs and delays of engaging in trade.
The project will also strengthens food safety measures and control systems for local products to gain access to international markets.
Furthermore, it will also provide on-demand services to public sector and business associations to address their urgent needs.
Trading across borders
TRTA 3 builds upon the success of the previous TRTA program, which contributed to the Philippines’ ranking in the “trading across border” index of the “World Bank Business Report,” which saw the country’s ranking rose from 61st to the 68th. This achievement was particularly attributed to the introduction of an electronic system for the submission of customs declaration and online payment.
With regard to EU-Philippine trade, the project helped provide access of the Philippine fishery exports to the European market of about 500 million customers.
The work plan that will operationalize TRTA 3 was developed by government agencies with collaboration from the business sector, the academe and civil society.
Rosalie C. Periabras