Trade repositories to reduce red tape

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Member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) should establish their own trade repositories, which will lead to the simplifying of exports and imports requirements.

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Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo, on the sidelines of APEC Trade Repository (APECTR) Media Launch on Sunday, told reporters that trade repositories can further ease doing business as the government can identify procedures and requirements that can be streamlined.

Rodolfo cited the Philippines National Trade Repository (PNTR), which has links to 50 government agencies administering trade laws.

The PNTR contains data such as tariff nomenclature, most favored nation (MFN) tariffs, rules of origin, non-tariff measures, national trade laws, procedures and documentary requirements, administrative rulings, best practices, and Authorized Economic Operators.

Before PNTR was launched, exporters and importers have to separately identify requirements from various agencies, which is burdensome to traders, according to Rodolfo.

“Our approach with the PNTR, our next step is how you streamline (requirements),” he said, adding the national portal trade repository provides basis of procedures that can be simplified.

There are no agencies that can ask for other requirements as all procedures are indicated in the PNTR, the official added.

The PNTR is part of the government’s trade facilitation strategy by providing a more transparent trade environment, allowing businesses easier access to information, and facilitating their compliance with the prescribed regulations. This also aims to reduce the time and costs related to trade transactions.

Rodolfo noted that the PNTR is a parallel domestic effort of the Philippines on APECTR.

He stressed that the country has two-way strategy in its APEC hosting this year: pushing for collaborative work in the regional context and to have parallel domestic efforts on particular initiatives.

“(This is) to ensure that our stakeholders locally do indeed maximize the benefits that we will get from our APEC hosting,” said Rodolfo.

The APECTR is under the Philippine-led initiative Boracay Action Agenda that targets to increase the participation of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the global value chain.

In its APEC hosting this year, the Philippines has been pushing to put MSMEs at the front and center of discussions on trade and policies in the APEC region.

PNA

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