The critical role of the newly formed Philippine Trade Facilitation Committee (PTFC) is to enable the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to actively participate in international trade and broaden their access to global value chains.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III emphasized the Committee’s primary task of streamlining trade processes and modernizing major customs operations that will be beneficial to MSMEs. MSMEs often lack access to the global markets and have no financial capacity to overcome the inefficiencies of the trading system.
The PTFC was created to enable the Philippines to comply with its commitments under the World Trade Organization-Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO-TFA), which mandates each member-state to establish and/or maintain a national committee on trade facilitation, or designate an existing mechanism to facilitate both domestic coordination and implementation of the provisions of the agreement.
“The role of this committee is very crucial to the attainment of that goal. This committee was not just created to simply comply with our commitments under the World Trade Organization. This was formed to ensure that we remain competitive in the continuously evolving global trade landscape,” Dominguez said.
The official said the spillover effects of improved trade processes and customs administration will create more jobs, bring in more possible investments, and help advance the skills and capabilities of Filipino workers and local entrepreneurs.
He also added that harmonizing the Philippines’ trade processes and modernizing customs operations will allow the country to thrive in the digital economy and leads to a more conducive trading environment for businesses which in turn, will increase the country’s trade volumes and reduce costs for both consumers and producers.