Bizmen oriented on free trade agreement-A A +A
Sunday, July 22, 2012
TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Local entrepreneurs here engaged in various processing business recently underwent orientation on free trade agreement (FTA) through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
According to DTI Kalinga Provincial Director Grace Baluyan, the information education campaign is part of the natural progression of domestic markets to expand in the international scene since FTAs are placed to promote trade and investment flows, to help local businesses penetrate international markets that offer enormous trade opportunities for exporters of various goods and services.
Currently, the Philippines has seven FTAs to include the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA), Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) Free Trade Area (Afta), and five Asean Regional FTAs with China, Japan, Korea, Australia-New Zealand and India.
With this development, the government, she said, intends to help local entrepreneurs benefit and take advantage of the FTAs to get a higher value of their product by giving them more market opportunities and to finally engage in foreign business and start getting their dollar receipts.
Like the other provinces in the Cordillera, Kalinga, she said, has its advantages for its competitiveness of services and unique products which are now also being indirectly marketed outside the country through buyers and retailers.
Kalinga is now engaged in exporting local produce such as coffee and upland rice which already reached the United States market.
Through the free trade areas, local businesses would be able to avail themselves of the fair trade giving the locals better chances to earn more to help improve their products and services, and on the process alleviate poverty in the locality, Baluyan said.
City Administrator Lawrence Bayongan said the orientation is timely especially that the province is now starting to engage in product quality development programs to comply with the requirements of international market demands.
According to him, with the potentials of organic products, the locality should give focus and priority on the production of quality health foods and enhance the existing local produce to meet the needs of consumers in the international market.
Geographically, the province he said has the advantage of producing better upland products like coffee which is known to have better aroma if planted in a higher altitude.
He also said there are certain local products not yet known in the national and international market like the “basi” (native wine) which is discovered by a researcher to be a complete health drink in enhancing the virility of men and in neutralizing sugar in blood.
With these developments, locals, he said, should start appreciating their locally made product and do away with the “buy stateside product” mentality considering that local products such as fruits are more superior in terms of health benefits.
The activity is part of the information campaign dubbed “Doing Business in Free Trade Areas” to publicize the new free trade agreements benefitting the food industry in the country. Spearheaded by DTI, the campaign is being conducted in partnership with the Trade Commission. (Geraldine G. Dumallig)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 23, 2012.