RP'S STAND REMAINS MINIMUM COMPLIANCE TO GLOBALIZATION

Manila, July 4, 2003 By IRMA ISIP (MALAYA) The Philippines retains its stand of minimum compliance to globalization, according to Trade Secretary Mar Roxas.

The country will be circumspect but it will reject any moves by the World Trade Organization (WTO) for unrestrained liberalization.

Roxas said the Philippines will not be afraid in saying no to unbridled liberalization in the forthcoming WTO ministerial conference in Cancun, Mexico.

He said the government will continue to work for improved international market access for Philippine products as well as nurture industries which must be given time to make adjustments to be internationally competitive to preserve local jobs.

"At rock bottom, our strategy should call for the Philippine industry to enhance its global competitiveness even if from time to time it must be sheltered from severe liberalization," he said.

Roxas cited concrete government efforts to enhance global competitiveness of industries such as tuna, cement, sugar, petrochemicals, garments, automotive and electronics.

On tuna, the Philippines succeeded in securing lower tariff for its canned tuna fexport to the European Union.

The DTI also slapped a safeguard duty on imported cement.

In the case of petrochemicals, negotiations are ongoing with Singapore and Malaysia after the country maintained higher tariffs while in sugar, the country also succeeded in its tradeoff for rice with Thailand when it increased the bound rates on sugar.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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