The Philippines is considering a proposal of Indonesia to forge a cooperation on fisheries and border trade while remaining committed to work out outstanding issues to enhance the business environment affecting the operations of businesses from both countries.
These were the highlights of the 8th Meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Trade, Investments, Handicrafts and Shipping held virtually recently.
Ceferino Rodolfo, undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), said the planned cooperation on fisheries and border trade is relevant to the two countries, the biggest in Asean, as they are both archipelagic states with common borders and taking into account the developments in sub-regional integration.
Both sides vowed to finalize and sign this year a number of memoranda of understanding on investment promotion, halal products quality assurance, and the creative economy.
Both sides also discussed the proposed conduct of industry dialogues on copper and textiles, capitalizing on each other’s complementation in terms of industrial strengths and resource endownments. The industry dialogues which are also proposed to be convened within the year will serve as a platform for information exchange on best practices and current industry regulations, and discussion of collaboration activities, with the participation from both the government and private sector. In the long term, these dialogues are seen as avenues to boost the manufacturing capabilities of our industrial sectors through the infusion of investments and technology.
Indonesia was represented at the JWG by Iman Pambagyo, director-general for International Trade Negotiations of the Ministry of Trade.
In 2019, Indonesia is the Philippines’ 8th trading partner (out of 225), 13th export market (out of 220), 6th import source (out of 191), and 27th source of approved investments.
Total trade with Indonesia amounted to $7.5 billion last year.