The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Thursday that Malaysia and the Philippines are “enjoying benefits of trade with lower tariffs” through the recent signing of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Free Trade Agreement (AFTA).
The AFTA signed by the two parties reduced and even canceled some trade requirements between the two countries, which is yet to be disclosed. Anthony Ballesteros Rivera,
marketing manager of the Malaysian Embassy in the Philippines, said that Malaysia uses its FTAs with different countries to increase the quality of its exports and other products for trade.
At present, most of the Philippine exports to Malaysia include semiconductor materials, electronics apparatus and machineries.
According to National Statistics Office records, the Philippines exported $1.02-billion worth of goods to Malaysia in 2012, a 7.38-percent decrease over the $1.1-billion goods exports in 2011.
Furthermore, the country imported a total of $2.5-billion worth of goods from Malaysia, which declined by 5.17 percent from $2.64 billion in 2011. The Philippines’ top imports from Malaysia are still petroleum products.
The Philippines have seven existing FTAs as of the moment, including Malaysia, with countries Korea, China, Japan and Australia-New Zealand, among others.
Malaysian companies with local arms in the Philippines are Resorts World Hotel, Shangri-La Hotels, Maybank and MTD Capital Bhd, which helped develop the Southern Luzon Expressway.
Kristyn Nika M. Lazo