Forum on trade set on April

THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) is inviting local exporters to join in the two events early next month to bolster relations with the businesses in the United States and Europe.

In a statement from DTI, one of the events is “Doing Business in Europe Forum” on April 4 at Park Inn by Radisson Hotel while the other is “Doing Business in the US for Fast Moving Consumer Goods” on April 7 at Royal Mandaya Hotel.

Senen M. Perlada, director of Export Marketing Bureau, said Tuesday during the presentation of the 2015-2017 Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) at Microtel that those two countries are among the key markets, which helped lift the country’s economy.

In Doing Business in Europe Forum, Perlada will discuss the European Union generalized scheme of preference. Walter Van-Hattum, head of trade of European Union Delegation to the Philippines, would also provide updates on the free trade agreements negotiations.

Since December in 2014, local exporters have been encouraged to maximize the benefits of the generalized system of preference plus (GSP +) where zero duties will be granted to 6,274 eligible exports to Europe.

Ma. Belenda Q. Ambi, regional director of DTI XI, said the GSP + is “an autonomous trade agreement in which the European Union grants non-reciprocal trade preferences to export products of beneficiary countries.”

With the scheme, Ambi said products like processed foods, garments, live animals, textile, headwear and umbrellas are granted with zero duties. As of 2013, some of the products from the region, which were exported to Europe, included fresh banana, coconut oil and cocoa butter.

Meanwhile, the event Doing Business in the US will have Nick Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Asia Etc., a marketing company, to serve as the main speaker. He would discuss on “Market Opportunities in the US for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods.”

“There will also be a business matching and consultation,” Perlada said.

The conduct of these events is among the DTI’s strategies to help boost the external trade. This year, the country is expected to achieve a growth in exports at eight to nine percent, based on the PEDP, a plan crafted in partnership with European Union Trade Related Technical Assistance 3.

As of last year, data from DTI showed that the country’s total exports valued at $86.815 billion.

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