Liberalize rice and corn sectors, PH urged
MANILA -The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) is pushing for the liberalization of the domestic rice and corn industries, as well as the removal of import tariffs on vehicles and automotive parts, as part of a list of recommendations to the Philippine government.
In the 125-page ECCP’s Advocacy Papers 2023 it handed over to Philippine officials on Thursday, the business chamber recommended the review and amendment of laws impeding foreign participation in certain agricultural activities.
“It is our position that the liberalization of the rice and corn industry will reaffirm the promotion of productive foreign investments in agriculture as key to national and rural development and will allow such foreign investments to create ripple effects by generating jobs and invigorate the countryside,” the ECCP said.
“As such, we actively call on Congress to enact a legislation in accordance with the provisions set in Presidential Decree No. 194 which aims to fully liberalize the rice and corn industry by repealing the divestment requirement and by rationalizing the definition of rice and corn industry,” the group added.
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The ECCP said that foreign participation in both these industries have been heavily limited by prohibiting foreigners from engaging in the culture, milling, warehousing, transporting, exportation, importation, distribution, or acquisition for the purpose of trade of such crops.
On the issue of import tariff removal, the ECCP said in the same advocacy paper that it strongly supports the adoption of measures in the EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement that eliminate import duties on automotive vehicles and automotive parts from the European Union, with immediate effect upon ratification.
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“While there is a positive trend toward market increase according to industry players, European automobile brands tend to lose out in the Philippine market in terms of price competitiveness because their goods are generally in the high price-tiered segment,” said the business chamber.
“Adopting these measures will ensure that European automobile brands are more competitive in the local market,” it added.
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