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20 June 2024, 07:10 AM

1st Capacity Building for the Philippine Trade Facilitation Committee: Bringing Private and Public Sector Perspectives Together on the Trade Facilitation Agreement

April 28, 2022

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) held the 1st Capacity-Building Workshop last April 7-8, 2022. This two-day workshop was jointly organized with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under the ambit of the ARISE Plus Philippines, a 4-year EU-funded project aimed at strengthening inclusive economic growth in the Philippines, through improved international trade performance, competitiveness, and economic integration.

With the theme “Bringing Private and Public Sector Perspectives Together on the Trade Facilitation Agreement”, this Workshop brought together the Secretariat and members of the Philippines Trade Facilitation Committee (PTFC), as well as private sector representatives to facilitate a coordinated approach in the implementation of trade facilitation initiatives.

The training modules are designed in helping the participants understand the conditions, potential benefits, and practical use of each of the measures of the World Trade Organization – Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO-TFA) were facilitated by Ms. Alina Fetisova and Mr. Agustin Baret of the International Trade Centre, including Ms. Maes Alconcel of the ARISE Plus Philippines Project. It allowed a collaborative intervention in developing and strengthening the skills, processes, and resources of the PTFC, thereby equipping them with the necessary means to contribute to the implementation and monitoring of trade facilitation reforms.

“There is merit in cultivating strong public-private cooperation, and the PTFC acts as a unique collaborative platform that can bring together all relevant stakeholders from all walks of trade to facilitate a coordinated approach in the implementation of trade facilitation initiatives” DOF Undersecretary Antonette C. Tionko, Principal Representative of the PTFC Chair, pointed out during her opening remarks.

Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero then said “Trade facilitation involves domestic policies and institutional structures where capacity building plays an important role. I encourage all participants to take part in the work of enhancing trade facilitation to meet specific and concrete needs. As partners in trade facilitation, we need to adhere to the simplification, harmonization, standardization, and push for digital governance driven by business rules and dynamic procedures.”

Following the establishment of the PTFC and the development of its operational work plan and 2022 – 2028 National Trade Facilitation Roadmap, the BOC will continuously provide capacity-building services to the members of the PTFC in collaboration with domestic and international partners.

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