PH jumps 20 notches in WEF's global survey on ease of trading

By Czeriza Valencia, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 06 2012 08:11 AM | Updated as of Jun 06 2012 08:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines’ overall ranking in the Global Enabling Trade Report 2012 rose 20 places to 72nd this year from 92nd in 2010.

The Global Enabling Trade Report 2012, which was published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), measures the factors, policies, and services that facilitate the trade in goods across the borders of 132 countries. It includes the areas of market access, border administration, transport and communication infrastructure, and business environment.

Each area consists of pillars and indicators that assess the different aspects of a country’s trade environment. The country’s ranking in the area of market access rose 50 notches from 64th in 2010 to 14th this year.

“It’s been a long time coming, we’re happy with the results, it shows that all our efforts this past two years are starting to payoff.” Secretary Gregory Domingo said in response to the results of the survey.

Domingo attributed the improvement in ranking to efforts to facilitate trade across borders such as the Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) awareness campaign that aims to help stakeholders understand the emerging and new markets as well as instruments such as free trade agreements (FTAs).

“We involve everyone. We’re trying to spread the word to our people to be able to use the FTAs,” he said.

DBFTA sessions will be held in key cities in the country this year. Each session will include presentations on market opportunities, including non-tariff measures, country’s FTA markets, tariff rates of top exports for sectors under the FTAs, rules of origin, an open forum, as well as business testimonials. Help desks will also be made available after each session to provide assistance to interested exporters and importers.

Domingo said other initiatives are already in place to bring down trade barriers, such as the ASEAN Single Window (ASW), which is a component of the progressive schemes on customs development shared by the 10-member ASEAN bloc. Among its pivotal role is the formulation and implementation of rules and procedures for trade facilitation.

Recently, the Philippines was chosen to chair the ASEAN Single Window Steering Committee to supervise ASW’s forthcoming projects and activities.

DTI is also pursuing reforms to improve the ease of doing business in the country. “We are continuing to work on things including the Philippine Business Registry (PBR)… and the BPLS (Business Permits and License Streamlining) of LGUs,” said Domingo.

The Philippine Business Registry was launched last January to speed up the business registration process and is now available in all DTI field offices nationwide for new single proprietorship registration.

The DTI, meanwhile, through the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) will conduct quality and productivity courses on food this month.

From June 7 to 8, the PTTC will conduct a course on the documentation of the food safety management system (FSMS) based on the standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 220000: 2005. This course will discuss how to ensure the proper documentation of the FSMS in businesses.

For this course, the participants should be familiar with the ISO 220000: 2005 standards and its pre-requisite programs.

The PTTC will also conduct a seminar on the application of the hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) from June 21 to 22, 2012. The HACCP is an internationally recognized and accepted system that ensures product safety. Through this course, participants can learn how to identify and assess hazards in the food production process and put in place the appropriate preventive control measures.

Participants should be familiar with pre-requisite programs such as the current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and the Sanitation Standard Operating Practices (SSOP).

For these courses, food handlers, food safety personnel, trainers, consultants, academicians, and owners, managers, and supervisors of food processing companies, food establishments, stores, and commissaries are encouraged to participate.

For reservations and inquiries, PTTC’s Testing and Inspection Division may be contacted at telephone numbers 468-8963 to 64 and 833-0809.