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EFTA market study aims to increase trade with Philippines

Sep '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
To strengthen The Philippines’ trade with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)—Switzerland in particular—the Philippine department of industry-export marketing bureau (DTI-EMB) and the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) are conducting a market study on three key export products of the Philippines: natural fibre and textiles; processed food and natural ingredients.

Non-governmental organisation Swisscontact, as SIPPO’s implementing body, DTI-EMB and the embassy of Switzerland in The Philippines signed an agreement to implement the project that is expected to be completed in December 2020.

SIPPO is an initiative of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) that aims at integrating developing and transition countries into world trade.

The market study aims at learning EFTA markets’ trade regulation, market access requirements and market demand. It will also determine the unique selling position of Philippine products in their market and acquire information on potential importers, according to a press release from DTI.

“The results of this study will guide our exporters, especially the MSMEs in the sectors of processed food, natural ingredients, and natural fibers, on how to effectively promote their products in these markets thus enabling them to maximize the benefits of our bilateral free trade agreement with EFTA,” said DTI-EMB director Senen Perlada.

Since June 1, 2018, the EFTA-Philippines Free Trade Agreement has been offering preferential treatment for trade in goods and services.

EFTA comprises Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and was established during the Stockholm Convention in 1960. In 2019, Philippine exports to EFTA were valued at $433.81 million while imports were valued at $384.19 million. Total Philippine trade with EFTA was valued at $817.99 million while the balance of trade was valued at $49.62 million.

Switzerland was the largest export market of the Philippines among the EFTA nations valued at $417 million, while imports were valued at $351.79 million. Total Philippine trade with Switzerland was valued at $817.99 million.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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