The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has stressed the importance of streamlining processes, reducing production costs, and improving nationwide access to telecommunications and internet connectivity to fully capitalize on the advantages presented by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
PCCI president George T. Barcelon underscored the need for concerted efforts to enhance the country’s competitiveness and align regulatory compliance with streamlined procedures.
Lowering transportation, logistics, and power costs is crucial to achieving a competitive edge vis-à-vis neighboring ASEAN nations, according to Barcelon.
The RCEP agreement holds the promise of potentially increasing a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 0.2%. To seize this opportunity, Barcelon called on the government to allocate more funds to the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Barcelon also highlighted the importance of establishing accessible laboratories for product testing, as RCEP member countries work towards reducing non-tariff barriers and establishing quality standards for food and manufactured goods.
The Philippines officially became a member of the RCEP on June 2, 2023, joining 15 other countries with a collective GDP of $21.3 trillion, accounting for approximately 40% of global trade.
While the RCEP presents potential income-generating opportunities for Filipinos, the PCCI acknowledged that there is still significant work to be done to fully harness the benefits of this trade agreement.