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5月30日のまにら新聞から

Duterte says Philippines seeking for a 'higher level of preferential arrangement' under JPEPA

[ 438 words|2019.5.30|英字 ]

President Rodrigo Duterte expressed hope on Wednesday to upgrade to "a higher level of preferential arrangement" the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), which is undergoing review.

In a speech before the Japanese and Filipino businessmen in Tokyo, Duterte also assured investors of "competitive and corruption-free business climate."

He noted that Japan is the first and only country with which the Philippines has a bilateral foreign trade agreement, which was signed in 2006.

"We are currently reviewing this agreement and we hope to upgrade it to a higher level of preferential arrangement that is mutually beneficial to our countries," he said.

He cited that one of Manila's priorities is to address the issue of economic market access for its agricultural products, such as bananas, mangoes, and pineapples, as well as service suppliers in the construction of projects.

"We are working with your government in these matters for the longest time," Duterte said.

He also said the Philippines is working with Japan to improve the current framework for the deployment of nurses and care health workers and "adopt a framework for mutual recognition and understanding."

He noted that the Philippines is a "natural choice" for Japanese companies looking for the manufacturing base in ASEAN as it also aims to serve the export markets of ASEAN, European Union and the Americas, among others.

These markets have preferential tariff arrangements with the Philippines, he said.

Duterte also told Japanese businessmen the Philippines is "an ideal base" for high-value knowledge process outsourcing venture to support the global operations of Japanese companies.

He also urged the foreign investors to participate in the government's "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure program.

"With our sound macro-economic policies and [ongoing] reforms, we guarantee a competitive and corruption-free --- and I repeat, we guarantee a competitive and corruption-free business climate, and a highly-skilled and fast-learning workforce," he said.

He stressed that his administration is firmly committed to maintain a stable and predictable environment for robust business partnerships between the Philippine and Japan.

"More than Build-Build-Build, let us work together to Grow-Grow-Grow our economies," he said.

He also assured the Japanese businessmen that he would personally attend to them if they have any complaint regarding hindrances, obstruction or outright corruption in the Philippines and he "will kill the problem."

"I will give you at any hour of the day or night you can contact any of the Cabinet members or your Filipino lawyers or Filipino workers, and you can ask an audience with me in 24 hours and I will talk to you and just let me know what your problem is and we will kill that problem," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS