ASEAN hosting to bring economic benefits for PHL, says NEDA official

MANILA -- The Philippine hosting of this year's Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit can bring economic benefits through tourism boost and increased trade opportunities in the next few years.

Rosemarie Edillon, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Deputy Director General, expects more foreign businessmen coming into the country to hold bilateral talks with their local counterparts, a similar trend when the Philippines hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in 2015.

"Hopefully, it will make more joint ventures so we expect it really to stimulate the economy for this year and hopefully in the years to come," she said in an interview.

Edillon also underscored the benefits of increasing trade with ASEAN neighbors, as the country also strengthens relations with largest trading partners including Japan, China and the United States.

"Agricultural exports would have a shorter shelf life. If that's the sector that they want to grow the most, then we have to be looking at our neighbors," she said.

The NEDA official further said the country aims to promote Halal products to ASEAN market.

"A number of our ASEAN neighbors actually, they practice the Muslim faith and the demand is for the Halal products. So if we want to penetrate that market, we need Halal-certified exports," she added.

Edillon believes that the country's hosting of ASEAN Summit will provide greater visibility of all the trade agreements that the Philippines is party to, especially ASEAN free trade agreements (FTA).

"(With) the ASEAN Economic Community, then people will be made more aware about the benefits of all these FTAs," she said.

Edillon said enhancing the role of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in global value chains will be one of the focus of this year's ASEAN Summit.

"We want our MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) to be part of that global value chain," she said.

The ASEAN is composed of 10 countries -- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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