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 …
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 …
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 …
Asean 2015 to widen market base for PH biofuels
The harmonization of biofuel standards – being an outcome of the scheduled ASEAN economic integration next year – will fundamentally widen the export base of any surplus capacity in the country’s production of coco methyl ester (CME).
This was indicated by Energy Undersecretary Zenaida Y. Monsada in a forum, stressing that with harmonized Asean standards, the region as a whole “can have better bargaining strategy for its products with other global economic blocks,” like Europe or North America.
It must be recalled that CME producers in the Philippines have previously sounded off excess production because the increase in biofuel blend for diesel products domestically is being pushed gradually.
Some of them are already exporting to other countries, like Germany, but with the ASEAN economic integration, Monsada noted “that overseas market base can still …
Business to PNoy: Keep reform momentum
Acknowledging there is little time left before the presidential election in 2016, the business community yesterday advised President Aquino to maximize his remaining 2 years in office to accomplish and implement the needed reforms to sustain economic growth.
Alfredo Yao, President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), told reporters at the closing of the 40th Philippine Business Conference (PBC) at the Manila Hotel that the business community have been cognizant of the time constraint the Aquino administration to act on the 8-point recommendations of the 40th PBC.
"He just have to make the most out of it," Yao said when asked if President Aquino still has enough time to address the PBC Resolutions.
"We know the President is serious in doing his job and doing it right," he added. In …
PBC calls for urgent gov’t action on 8 areas
The 40th Philippine Business Conference (PBC) has approved an 8-point recommendation highlighted by energy, power, human resource, port congestion, transport infrastructure, ASEAN integration and agriculture as critical areas that require immediate government action.
The PBC Resolutions, which is the product of regional business conferences of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is submitted to the Philippine President according to the tradition of the PBC, the country’s largest annual business gathering.
President Aquino will receive the 40th PBC Resolutions today at the Manila Hotel. The President is also scheduled to address the 40th PBC where he is also expected to respond this year’s PBC recommendations.
Topping the list of the 40th PBC Resolutions is the issue of energy and power.
The PBC, the country’s largest annual business gathering, has urged the national government to …