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How Are Firms Responding to Philippine Free Trade Agreements?

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Listed:
  • Aldaba, Rafaelita M.
  • Medalla, Erlinda M.
  • Yap, Josef T.
  • Rosellon, Maureen Ane D.
  • del Prado, Fatima
  • Mantaring, Melalyn C.
  • Ledda, Veredigna M.

Abstract

The Philippines has been more cautious in its policy toward free trade agreements (FTAs) than other ASEAN member-states, having signed, so far, only one bilateral agreement with Japan in addition to the various ASEAN+1 agreements. While the government is expected to progressively reduce preferential tariffs to zero, Philippine firms have historically been slow to take advantage of FTAs. This survey reaffirms that this awareness and the usage of FTAs need significant improvement among both manufacturing and services sector firms. Identified as the main source of information for FTAs, the government needs to increase the efficiency, scope, and reach of its promotional and technical training programs and to rely further on technology to deliver results. These efforts to enhance FTA utilization are directly linked with the easing of rules of origin (ROOs) compliance and administration. At the national level, these efforts include reforms toward electronic Certificates of Origin and self-certification, and linkage to the national single window. This will improve timelines and ease the entry of micro, small, and medium enterprises. Regional efforts to harmonize ROOs can increase FTA utilization across ASEAN member-countries and pave the way for the forthcoming Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Suggested Citation

  • Aldaba, Rafaelita M. & Medalla, Erlinda M. & Yap, Josef T. & Rosellon, Maureen Ane D. & del Prado, Fatima & Mantaring, Melalyn C. & Ledda, Veredigna M., 2015. "How Are Firms Responding to Philippine Free Trade Agreements?," Discussion Papers DP 2015-22, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:phd:dpaper:dp_2015-22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kazunobu Hayakawa & Daisuke Hiratsuka & Kohei Shiino & Seiya Sukegawa, 2013. "Who Uses Free Trade Agreements?," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 245-264, September.
    2. Ganeshan Wignaraja & Dorothea Lazaro & Genevieve DeGuzman, 2010. "FTAs and Philippine Business : Evidence from Transport, Food, and Electronics Firms," Trade Working Papers 22880, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    3. Medalla, Erlinda M. & Balboa, Jenny D., 2009. "ASEAN Rules of Origin: Lessons and Recommendations for Best Practice," Discussion Papers DP 2009-36, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    4. Erlinda M. MEDALLA & Jenny BALBOA, 2009. "ASEAN Rules of Origin: Lessons and Recommendations for Best Practice," Working Papers d020, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    5. Medalla, Erlinda M., 2011. "Taking Stock of the ROOs in the ASEAN+1 FTAs: Toward Deepening East Asian Integration," Discussion Papers DP 2011-36, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
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    Keywords

    Philippines; free trade agreements (FTAs); Certificate of Origin; FTA utilization;
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