PH, South Korea to develop digital FTA platform
MANILA -The Philippines and South Korea have partnered to develop a digital platform to help exporters make use of the expected free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, which is seen benefiting around P170 million worth of Philippine agricultural goods annually.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it is currently working with the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) for the development and the implementation of the “Origin Management System for the Promotion of Free Trade Agreements in the Philippines” Project.
Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said that the digital platform is a vital tool for the Philippines to optimize the use of its FTAs with South Korea, as well as of other countries.
“The best time to prepare for an FTA’s entry into force is before it is even implemented or while it is being negotiated. This is the reason why, even ahead of the entry into force of the agreement, we have been intensely working with key stakeholders,” Rodolfo said in a statement.
“With this, the DTI aims to replicate the experience with the Philippines-European Free Trade Association FTA where the Philippines was able to reverse the phenomenal trade deficit with EFTA in the first year of implementation,” he added.
Rodolfo said this is the first time they have undertaken such a project through mainstreaming the use of technology and digital services to make exporting and the availment of the FTA easier.
Key features of the project include the development of an “origin management system” which will enable exporters to determine whether its export product qualifies under the respective rules of origin requirements, the DTI said.