PH pushes for bigger bite of Japan’s fruit market | Inquirer Business

PH pushes for bigger bite of Japan’s fruit market

The Philippines is seeking a larger piece of the pie in the Japanese food market as it explores additional avenues to export more locally produced agricultural products, especially mangoes and bananas, to the archipelago up north.

In a statement over the weekend, Agriculture Attaché Maria Alilia Maghirang of the Philippine Agriculture Office in Tokyo said the reentry of fresh Davao mangoes in Japan will spur “greater confidence to our exporters to continue supplying to” that country.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said the export of mangoes to Japan has declined sharply since 2011 when Tokyo imposed stricter sanitary and phytosanitary standards.


Also, the DA is coordinating with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) about lowering Japan’s tariff rate on Philippine bananas, a staple among Japanese consumers.


For this reason, Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. said, the government is considering the review of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement.

In particular, Manila is considering to lodge an appeal for a preferential tariff rate on Philippine bananas bound for Japan.

The DA noted the country holds the largest share in terms of banana exports to Japan, but is under threat from Cambodia, Laos, Mexico and Vietnam which enjoy a zero tariff rate or preferential tariff.

Bananas from the Philippines account for 22 percent of Japan’s imports of the tropical fruit.

At present, the Philippine banana is levied a tariff rate of 8 percent from April 1 to Sept. 30 and then slapped with a higher tariff of 18 percent between Oct. 1 and March 31. INQ

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