VENUS MAY H. SARMIENTO
DAGUPAN CITY – The Philippines’ membership to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) paved the way for a zero-tariff scheme for specific products made in the country and exported to the member-countries, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.
Marjury Lorezco, chief trade and industry specialist of DTI in Pangasinan, said the Asian Free Trade Area (AFTA) agreement among the 10 member states came in full blast in 2016.
“The market development trade agreements dictates na free o zero-tariff and pagpasok ng mga specific products sa mga member countries,” Lorezco said during the Pantongtongan Tayo radio program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
Lorezco said business enterprises must grab this opportunity and be thankful that the Philippines is one of the founding members of ASEAN leading to the advancement of the economic community.
Meanwhile, Natalia Dalaten, also a chief trade and industry specialist of DTI, said buyers and consumers can be assured of quality products because exporters conform not only to the International Organization Standards (ISO) but also to the ASEAN Standards.
“Businesses must harmonize their products with the quality standards for a free flow and integration in a single market, so buyers are assured of products that are fit and safe,” Dalaten said.
Philippines is one of the 10 member states of ASEAN. The other nine include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (JNPD/VHS/PIA-1,Pangasinan)