PHL negotiating for lower tariff on chicken to Japan (Business Mirror (Philippines))

THE Philippine government is pushing to lower tariffs for all chicken exports to Japan under Manila’s free-trade agreement with Tokyo, according to an official of the Department of Agriculture (DA). Agriculture Undersecretary for Operations Jose C. Reano told editors and reporters of media companies under the ALC Group that the agency is negotiating with Japan to bring down the tariffs for yakitori chicken to 4.5 percent from 8.5 percent.

The DA is negotiating with Japan to lower the tariffs for our chicken exports.

The current tariff is 8.5 percent, Reano said during a discussion on Thursday. I’d be happy if that’s lowered to 4.5 percent.

He explained the Philippines should ensure that it becomes as competitive as other exporters in the global market. For one, he said Thailand’s cooked chicken shipments to Japan has displaced the demand for the Philippines’s yakitori chicken.

Thailand enjoys a 3-percent tariff for their cooked chicken exports to Japan, while chicken from the Philippines has a tariff of 8.5 percent. That’s just a 15-cents difference in terms of cost in Japan.

Reano said lowering the tariff will even the trade playing field and increase the opportunities for chicken exporters in the Philippines.

Japan is a major importer of Philippine products, such as banana, okra and mango.

The latest report from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the country’s total agricultural exports to Japan in 2014 reached a value of $946.10 million (freight-on-board), accounting for almost 14 percent of the total agri-based exports last year.

Reano said the DA is also putting its efforts to bring the country’s poultry products to Vietnam and Singapore.

The department is becoming more export-oriented. Now we are studying how to open new markets to our local producers and how to make our export commodities more competitive in the global market, Reano added.

Earlier, the Philippines has also been able to penetrate the poultry market in South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

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