DTI mulls new trade post in Africa

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - December 30, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is studying the possibility of setting up a trade post in Africa next year.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the DTI wants to tap Africa as a new market for exports.

Lopez said the region offers opportunities for Philippine exports based on information provided to him by the agency’s commercial attache in the Middle East.

“We will look at the size of market per country and what are their requirements. That is the expanded role of our trade attache [in the Middle East] and if it makes sense, we will open a post for Africa,” he said.

Where the trade post would be deployed specifically in Africa would depend on which market offers the biggest potential for the Philippines.

At present, the Philippines does not have a trade post in any part of Africa and the region is part of the assignment of the commercial attache in the Middle East.

Trade representatives or commercial attaches of the DTI deployed in different parts of the world are responsible for advancing the Philippines’ trade and investment interests through promotion efforts, conduct of market research for specific products, and by providing information on issues which may affect trade negotiations and policy. 

Lopez said Africa offers opportunities for Philippine exports because of some countries’ open market access and need for products.

“That prompted us to study further that market…We’re looking for markets where we can sell. [If there is] more market, it would make more sense for manufacturing to expand,” he said.


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