Philippines well positioned as major sardines supplier
(The Philippine Star) - October 11, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is well positioned to be a major sardines provider in the entire Southeast Asian region through the Zamboanga Peninsula or Region 9 with the upcoming Asean integration, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said. 

According to the  DTI, the Zamboanga Peninsula currently supplies 85 percent of the country’s sardines requirements and has the advantage to supply the sardines demand in the  Asean.

“To reach the 600 million strong consumers of Asean,  we need to work together to craft a local roadmap aligned with national policies. The local roadmap will identify the visions of the region for the industry as well as gaps including needed policy interventions to grow,” DTI Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba said.

To fully benefit from the Asean integration, Aldaba is urging stakeholders in Region 9 to shift from being an agriculture-based economy to an agro-processing economy.

Aldaba noted the Zamboanga Peninsula had shown a modest 4.5 percent average manufacturing growth in recent years.

She said the manufacturing sector accounted for about 27 percent of the gross domestic product in the region.

“Our micro, small, and medium enterprises are ready to participate in the global value chain. A good example is sardines, for which the Zamboanga Peninsula is known for. We have fish stocks because of conservation efforts in the region, and the facilities to process,” Aldaba said.

Asean member countries currently enjoy zero tariffs for 99 percent of products traded in the region, the DTI said.

The Philippines also enjoys zero tariffs for more than 6,000 products exported to the European Union because of the EU-Generalized System of Preferences Plus.

“We are already experiencing a resurgence of the manufacturing industry and now, we have greater access to markets abroad. There are greater opportunities for industries already located here to expand and for those who are not yet here to consider investing,” Aldaba said.

Aside from sardines, partnerships of private and public organizations in Region 9 have resulted in initiatives to support industries in rubber, abaca, cacao, seaweeds, and mango, the DTI said.

 

ACIRC ALDABA ASEAN ASSISTANT SECRETARY RAFAELITA ALDABA DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY DTI EUROPEAN UNION GENERALIZED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES PLUS REGION SOUTHEAST ASIAN ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA
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