Philippines boosts global ranking in trade facilitation
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines saw its trade facilitation score go up in this year’s United Nations (UN) Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation amid improvements in four out of five categories tracked by the report.

This year’s report showed the Philippines got a trade facilitation score of 80.65 percent, up from 69.89 percent in 2017.

Covering 128 economies, the UN report looks at trade facilitation measures being implemented in relation to the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement, digital trade, small and medium enterprises, agriculture and women, and trade finance.

The measures are grouped into five categories which are cross-border paperless trade, paperless trade, institutional arrangement and cooperation, formalities, and transparency.

In Southeast Asia, the Philippines had a better trade facilitation score than neighbors Indonesia (80 percent), Brunei Darussalam (77 percent), Cambodia (71 percent), Vietnam (61 percent), Myanmar (60 percent) and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (59 percent).

The Philippines, however, was behind Malaysia and Thailand which both got 83 percent, and Singapore which had a score of 94 percent.

Results of the survey showed the Philippines had higher scores in all the categories except in institutional arrangement and cooperation, where its rating was unchanged at 55.56 percent.

In the cross-border paperless trade category, the Philippines got a score of 55.56 percent this year from just 33.33 percent in 2017.

The Philippines’ score also rose to 77.78 percent this year from 70.37 percent in 2017 in the paperless trade category.

In terms of the formalities category, the Philippines had a rating of 100 percent this year from 87.50 percent last year.

The Philippines also had a 100 percent score in the transparency category this year, up from 93.33 percent in 2017.

In conducting the survey, the UN aims to help countries benchmark and reduce the time and cost of trading across borders.

It likewise seeks to provide information for policy makers to take advantage of trade in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which aims to put an end to poverty.

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