Local manufacturers can look at opportunities in Australia and New Zealand as the two countries mull zero tariff for ASEAN members under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.
Jeremiah Reyes of the Department of Trade and Industry Bureau of International Trade Relations said Saturday that Filipino manufacturers can take advantage of this opportunity by exploring the overseas market.
Reyes said the ANZ market has growing demand in high-value goods and services.
ASEAN members and ANZ had signed AANZFTA in January 2010 aimed at economic cooperation among signatory countries to create trade benefits.
Economic cooperation includes frame working of competition policy, Intellectual property, e-commerce, investment, and trade in goods and services.
The FTA also pushes reduction to elimination of tariff cost to further leverage flow of trade within ASEAN and ANZ economies.
Under the agreement, 96.5 percent of ASEAN products being exported to ANZ market shall have zero tariffs this year.
Products with zero tariff this tear include processed food, beverages, minerals, inorganic and organic chemicals, leather goods, footwear, basketware, ceramics, fine and costume jewelry, appliances, auto and auto parts, ships and boats, furniture, women's undergarments, cotton apparel, wool overcoats, trousers of synthetic fiber, hosiery, socks, gloves, shawls, and ties.
By 2015, it is expected to expand zero tariff on product lines up to 96.8 percent.
In two years, men's synthetic suits and dresses and women's wool jackets and suits will also be entitled for zero tariff.
In 2020, zero tariffs will be applied to 100 percent lines of other articles of apparel, carpets, and wooden office furniture.
Reyes advised Filipino traders to keep an eye on developments in ANZ market, take advantage of the FTA, and use appropriate strategy to expand the penetration of Filipino enterprises in Australia and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, country’s export to Australia posted $387 million in 2012 with car parts, electrical and telecom products, nickel ores, desiccated coconuts, and deodorants as major export products.
Meanwhile, the country’s export to New Zealand reached US$ 49 million in the same year with bananas, car batteries, fresh or prepared pineapples, carrageen, and desiccated coconuts as top exports to New Zealand.*PNA