DTI: RCEP to spur growth of MSMEs

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
DTI: RCEP to spur growth of MSMEs
Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual.
The STAR / File photo

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s participation in the Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) is seen to promote the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), according to Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual.

“The DTI submits that the Philippines’ participation in the RCEP agreement will help promote the growth and development of MSMEs, which account for more than 99 percent of businesses in the Philippines,” Pascual said in a post on his official Facebook page.

“It can pave the way for the internationalization and deeper participation of MSMEs into the Global Value Chains (GVCs),” he said.

The RCEP is a multilateral trade agreement between and among ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, and China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, accounting for 30 percent of the world’s global GDP and population. It provides for an open, inclusive and rules-based trading system to promote deeper economic integration in the region.

The trade deal is expected to boost Philippine exports through enhanced market access in the region.

With the RCEP, the DTI said MSMEs who are into export can access a wider market with preferential tariff treatment under one set of rules for conducting trade.

“Hence, more opportunities for growth, lesser administrative cost, and enhanced comparative advantage in the RCEP region,” the DTI said.

It said that MSMEs can also sell their products or provide services to domestic value-adding firms that are linked to a global GVC.

The DTI also pointed out that RCEP provides business-friendly mechanisms to facilitate trade through clear, transparent, and simplified procedures.

“Philippine exporters can also avail of flexible certification procedures that will make it easier for businesses, especially MSMEs to use the FTA (free trade agreement) and avail of the preferential arrangement,” the agency said.

The DTI also noted that the RCEP provides for time-bound consultations to resolve issues and concerns on trade measures such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures, standards and technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures.

“The economic cooperation facility of the FTA will also provide for capacity building and technical cooperation activities that will assist MSMEs in using RCEP, boost their overall competitiveness, as well as promote their goods and services across the FTA region,” it said.

Meanwhile, the DTI said that the establishment and maintenance of a publicly accessible information platform about the rules on conducting trade and investments by the RCEP parties in the region, and the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and best practices among RCEP parties can build capacity and empower MSMEs to utilize the RCEP agreement.

According to the DTI, the RCEP provides guaranteed market access or business opportunities for sectors committed such as auditing and bookkeeping services, architectural services and hairdressing service in China; and financial services and game development services in South Korea.

On February 21, the Senate gave its concurrence on the ratification of the RCEP.

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