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DTI tightens watch on building materials

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will focus monitoring of standards of GI sheets and construction materials in preparation for brisk construction activities in the country next year. DTI Undersecretary Victorio Mario Dimagiba told reporters that after its current focus on price monitoring and implementation of suggested retail prices on basic goods,  Noche Buena items and electricals (Christmas lights), the agency will shift its attention to construction materials particularly roofing or GI sheets. “We will be intensifying strict implementation of standards for construction materials in preparation for the strong construction activities next year,” he said. Dimagiba cited the sprouting of all classes of high-rise buildings and condominium buildings in the metropolis because of the strong economic growth. According to Dimagiba, they will concentrate on labeling of construction products particularly for roofing materials. The product …

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Fil-Am businessmen cite PH encouraging economic news

After eight years of absence, the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce (PACC), which is composed of members from various industries, has sent an investment and trade mission to the Philippines encouraged by positive developments in the country. PACC President Michael Nierva said during the recent reception of the 12-member business mission by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) that his members are keen on exploring investment opportunities in the Philippines. Nierva noted that they had many previous trade missions in the country but did not have one in about seven or eight years. “We want to do a trade mission back home to the Philippines. We think that there has been a lot good news on the Western front about the Philippines,” said Nierva at the economic and investment briefing organized by …

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Auto Lemon Law IRR now completed

The DTI has completed the finalized implementing rules and regulations for Lemon Law which provides clear procedure between buyers and manufacturers over defective cars. DTI Undersecretary Victorio Mario Dimagiba has announced the completed law’s IRR and is ready for signature by DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo. “We are still on track with our November 7 deadline,” he said. Dimagiba said that the IRR has established a very clear step by step procedure for buyers to avail of the Lemon Law Rights protection. There is also a prescribed form to be used in filing complaints. “If a vehicle is a lemon, even if you undergo five repair attempts, it is definitely a lemon,” said Dimagiba. Based on the IRR, a car owner and the distributor or dealer of a defective motor vehicle are given an opportunity …

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BOI grants tax incentives to 6 power projects worth P146B

The Board of Investments (BOI)  has granted tax and fiscal incentives to six power projects worth P146.18 billion accounting for more than half of the P258.709-billion total approved investments as of September this year. Total BOI approved investments in the January-August period this year dropped by 26 percent as against the P350.34 billion in the same period last year. Earlier, Trade and Industry Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr., who is also BOI managing head, attributed the slower investments inflow to the absence of big tickets that have registered with the BOI last year like the P62.8-billion power project of Ridondo Peninsula Power. However, records show that the biggest power project approved by the BOI was a bigger P63.166-billion project of St. Raphael Power Generation Corp., a unit formed by Semirara Mining Corp. St. Raphael …

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Congress sets fiscal perks harmonization deadline

The Departments of Trade and Industry and Finance have until December this year to agree on the Harmonization of Fiscal Incentives Bill otherwise this priority bill will not have a chance of passing in the 16th Congress. Rep. Miro Quimbo, chairman of the powerful House ways and means committee, issued this ultimatum to both government agencies in a talk with reporters after his speech before the Makati Business Club. “Both line agencies have not yet genuinely agreed to the final version. If they don’t send it before end of year, I don’t think it will have a chance in this Congress,” Quimbo said. According to Quimbo, he got some feedback that some senior officials of the DTI were not happy with the supposed consolidated version and had been asking for an audience. “I urge …

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Ambitious Pan-Pacific trade pact now taking shape

Sydney– The shape of an ambitious Pan-Pacific trade agreement was ''crystallising'', trade ministers said Monday, although the United States and Japan remain divided over market access. Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb said officials had laid the groundwork for the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, which would encompass 40 percent of the global economy. ''Over the course of our weekend meeting, we have spent a considerable portion of our time in one-on-one discussions,'' said Robb, who hosted the Australian leg of the discussions in Sydney. ''That has allowed us to make further progress in the negotiations on market access for goods, services and investment. ''We consider that the shape of an ambitious, comprehensive, high-standard and balanced deal is crystallizing.'' The TPP deal has been the subject of discussions for several years, with negotiations slowing …

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Chinese investors keep low profile

Chinese businessmen are heavily investing in the country's agriculture, mining and tourism sectors but have been keeping low profile in light of the sensitive political situation between China and the Philippines. Francis Chua, chairman emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told reporters on the sideline of the recent Philippine Business Conference (PBC) in Manila Hotel, that the continued investments of Chinese businessmen into the country only indicate that businessmen in both countries have not been affected by problems at the diplomatic level. "On the local side or the private sector we are not affected, they (Chinese) keep coming in and continue investing,"  Chua said noting that partnerships and joint ventures are being forged between Filipinos and Chinese businessmen. Chua, however, said that Chinese investors prefer to keep a low profile …

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Gov’t needs stronger leadership – ADB official

Philippine banks need to look beyond the domestic market while government leadership must shift to a higher gear to support local businesses and domestic financial institutions to become big, regional players, particularly in Asean, according to an official of the Asian Development Bank. “If the government supports local businesses to grow regional, then the banks will follow. To some extent this can be driven by a government policy,” said Asian Development Bank (ADB) Deputy Head Noritaka Akamatsu of the Regional Economic Integration Office. “Generally speaking, the Philippines, so far, has been very much market-driven instead of the government taking a very strong leadership. That’s a characteristic of the Philippine development plan,” Akamatsu said in an interview. First, the government has to have a development program that will create strong leadership and depending on …

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Momentum building on TPP trade deal

Sydney – Momentum is building towards a pan-Pacific trade agreement, representatives of Australia and the United States said Saturday as talks between trade ministers began in Sydney. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would encompass 40 percent of the global economy and include 12 nations, has been the subject of negotiations for years. US President Barack Obama said in June he hoped to have an agreement on framing the deal, which has been slowed by debate on key details between the US and Japan, by November. Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb, hosting the Sydney talks, told the opening plenary that reports from negotiators were that ''there does seem to be a real head of steam''. ''I think a lot of progress has been made,'' he said. ''Clearly I think we are working now to try and …

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