Filipino exporters are urged to tap Australian and New Zealand markets amid current efforts of the two countries to explore key industries in the Philippines.
Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy (IDTP) Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr. reiterates calls for Filipino exporters to explore other non-traditional markets such as Australia and New Zealand including others where we have preferential trade agreements with to sustain growth.
He said, “Exploring and developing emerging markets with which we have the advantage of eliminated tariff barriers is an opportunity for businesses to expand and increase output.”
The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand preferential trade agreement (AANZFTA) entered into force in January 2010 and covers trade in goods, services, investments, intellectual property, e-commerce, entry of business people, and economic cooperation.
At a Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) forum, DTI Assistant Secretary Ramon Vicente Kabigting said, “We encourage our exporters to increase our presence in Australia and New Zealand and make use of the benefits of AANZFTA.
At present, under AANZFTA, 96.4 percent and 84.7 percent of all products that may be imported by Australia and New Zealand, respectively, can enter their markets duty-free. This means reduced cost of doing business for our Filipino exporters.”
Australia’s and New Zealand’s enthusiasm
Australia Senior Trade Commissioner Ross Bray announced Australians are looking for high quality, well designed products from the Philippines. “With the increased interest in doing business between the two countries, Australian and Philippine businesses should be seeking partnerships in automotive components, IT and BPO services, just to name a few,” Bray said.
Already, a buying mission from Australia’s Gifts and Housewares Australia (GHA), an industry group representing gifts and house ware companies in Australia, expressed interest to source products from the Philippines. GHA is scheduled to visit Manila FAME International this October. Manila FAME is the trade promotions event for the lifestyle and design-driven industries led by the DTI and several business support organizations.
Meanwhile, Embassy of New Zealand Trade Commissioner Hernando Banal II advised Filipino exporters to continuously improve their product image, standards and its way of doing business to make the Philippines more attractive to investors. He also urged the Filipino exporters to use AANZFTA to their advantage.
Kabigting, Bray and Banal were resource persons during the recently held Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) session In Iloilo City. DBFTA aims to educate businessmen on utilizing the country’s existing preferential trade agreements with export markets such as AANZFTA.
The Philippines’ top export market in 2010 based on exports value is Japan, followed by the United States. Australia is only 18th, while New Zealand is 45th. Only less than one percent of Philippine exports were sent to Australia and New Zealand in 2010. Reden Miranda, Media Public Affairs, Department of Trade and Industry