PH seeks duty-free entry of Bangsamoro products to Japan
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine government is seeking preferential treatment on goods to be shipped to Japan by traders based in the Bangsamoro, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said on Thursday.
On the sidelines of the 44th International Association of Financial Executives Institutes (IAFEI) World Congress hosted by the Financial Executives of the Philippines (Finex), Purisima told reporters that Japan has historically been pouring the “biggest” support into the Philippines, especially Mindanao under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) program.
During Purisima’s meeting with Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Taro Aso in Tokyo last week, they discussed potential collaboration opportunities between the Philippine and Japanese governments.
Purisima and Aso tackled opportunities to accelerate the development of the Bangsamoro area, the rebuilding of Yolanda-affected areas, and assistance in infrastructure development.
In particular, Purisima said he related to Aso the Philippines’ request for Japan to grant preferential treatment on products to be exported from Bangsamoro.
The finance chief said that a duty-free entry of Bangsamoro exports to Japan would help jump-start investments in the area.
He said the government would lobby for easier access to the Japanese market of agricultural and natural goods to be churned out by Bangsamoro-based businesses.
A number of Japanese products enter the Philippines with zero duty under the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA), which came into effect in 2008. The same bilateral trade agreement had also opened doors for Filipino health workers to land jobs in Japan.
The Department of Trade and Industry also urged legislators in the United States to put in place a bill providing duty-free access for goods exported from Yolanda-hit areas.
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