THE Philippine Banana Growers Exporters Association (PBGEA) is pushing for continued discussions on their proposal to lower the tariff imposed on Philippine bananas in the Korean market.
PBGEA executive director Stephen Antig said the visit of the South Korean ambassador Han Dong-Man in the city provided them with an opportunity to lobby for lower tariffs.
“In the case of Korea, we had a meeting with the Korean ambassador. Nangayo mi ug update sa gihangyo ni President Duterte sa iyaha bitaw nga i-reduce ang tariff ug tinuod na nakahisgutan na nila (We asked for an update regarding the request of President Duterte to the ambassador to reduce the tariff, and it is true that they already talked about it),” Antig said in an interview on Monday, September 3, at PBGEA office, Davao City.
“Apan nihisgot ang ambassador nga dili daw sila makahatag ug PTA (Preferential Trading Agreement) sa amoa kay dili naman ta developing country (The ambassador mentioned that they cannot grant PTA to us because we are not a developing country anymore),” Antig added.
Antig said PBGEA requested for PTA grant instead of a bilateral Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which takes longer to approve.
“Not to mention this RCEP is participated by almost 16 countries,” Antig added.
Though Antig added the South Korean ambassador assured them that the RCEP will be done this year.
Based on the South Korean embassy data on trade and investment, Philippine banana exports to Korea amounted to $288 million.