Davao biz men urged to utilize FTA with China

Subscribe Now November 23, 2011 at 04:21pm

Filipinos are urged to take advantage of the existing Free Trade Agreement between China and the ASEAN which includes the Philippines. Commercial Attache of the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) Emmanuel W. Ang told Davao exporters and customs brokers recent updates on China’s economy and potentials to welcome foreign products.

“There’s an increasing income of Chinese people, RMB currency appreciation, inflation, and government policy to encourage further domestic consumption. All these make the Chinese afford to buy more imported products,” he said.

Ang was one of the resource speakers invited to encourage Filipino exporters in yesterday’s Information Session: Doing Business in Free Trade Areas held at Grand Men Seng, this city.

The information session is an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in educating Filipinos to make use of the existing trade agreements with other countries in which the Philippines had participated in.

Ang explained that contrary to what many Filipinos think that Philippines import more China products, it is actually the other way around.

“In 2010, Philippines and China has a positive bilateral balance trade which shows that the China actually import more Philippine goods rather exporting their products here”, he said.

A balance trade of negative 873.50 in 2009 was turned into 1,096.91 in 2010.

Ang also stressed the increasing salaries of Chinese people as their government allowed for a growth rate of more than 20 percent per year on the workers with minimum wage. This according to him pushed employers to pay their workers above minimum wage.

This, according to him, opens more windows for foreign products to be consumed by the Chinese market.

DTI sees new opportunities arising in the furniture sector as China puts more focus on products utilizing indigenous design and materials. Another potential sector that exporters could take advantage is the marine business. One example is the shipment of live fish to Zhuhai from the Philippines.

Filipinos are also seen potential partners as China pushes to develop its own IT and IT enabled services industry. Ang cited the presence of Pinoy call center workers in Guangdong.

Ang stressed that the China market is so vast that it can actually buy everything that Filipinos can offer; however, the only challenge is the readiness of the Filipinos to do business in China.

“We should remember that China is a hungry market that’s why we must have the volume and the quality that China demands,” he said.

Source: pia.gov.ph

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