DTI: We are implementing a new industrial policy; CAR gets ready to draw up regional industry roadmaps
Baguio City –Industry Development Assistant Secretary RafaelitaAldaba lauded the support and initiative of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to localize industry roadmaps. “In crafting your roadmaps and aligning this with our national strategies for growth and development, together we are building capacities to take advantage of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and tariff free entry of more than 6000 products in the European market,” she said.
More than 250 participants from various businesses and business organizations, government agencies, PEZA locators, Mayors, and owners of small and medium enterprises from CAR attended last week the “Industry Roadmaps and the AEC Game Plan: Regional Localization for Competitiveness” forum.The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Board of Investments (BOI) organized the forum.
DTI CAR Regional Director Myrna P. Pablo urged local participants to strengthen private public partnerships. “The next step is clearly for us to formulate our own regional roadmaps to set the direction and vision of our industries. Today we are here to start formulating our regional roadmaps on Coffee and Processed Vegetables and Fruits,” she said.
Some 35 sectoralroadmaps have been crafted and submitted to the BOI. The crafting of industry roadmaps at national and regional levels is private-sector led while government acts as facilitator and enabler.
The DTI and the BOI have been conducting similar fora in the country to facilitate development of local roadmaps. “What has been highlighted as the forum moves from one region to another is the need for all of us government, industry associations, academe, civil society and other stakeholders to engage in industrial cooperation and partnership in order to equip us better to face the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities from AEC,” Pablo said.
The AEC seeks to create a single market and a single production base within the ASEAN region, and become fully integrated with the global market. Since January 2010, more than 99.65% of goods have been traded at zero tariff in ASEAN. Very few products remain protected by tariffs within ASEAN. In the Philippines, these are primarily agricultural products including rice, sugar, cassava and sweet potatoes, maize, chicken and swine. The AEC, in the medium- to long-term, promises vast opportunities and strong growth potentials for the country.
“In order for us to maximize the opportunities in AEC and the European Union, we should be constantly improving our efforts to enhance our competitiveness,” Aldaba added. “By identifying interventions and initiatives to upgrade our industries and MSMEs and strengthening the competitiveness of our regional economies, particularly here in CAR, we can make our country’s economic growth more sustainable and inclusive.”