DTI: PHL to benefit from new WTO IT deal

MANILA, July 29 (PNA) — The Philippines will be benefitting from the new trade deal in information technology (IT) sector of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

Under the new IT Agreement, WTO members agreed to eliminate tariff on 201 manufactured IT products including semiconductors, static converters, video games, and parts of automated electronic component machines. The Philippines is part of the global production chain of these products.

“Philippine trade of these products in 2013 amounted to US$ 26 billion, with exports reaching more than US$ 14 billion,” DTI Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. said.

Aside from eliminating tariffs on IT manufactured products, WTO’s new IT trade deal will also improve the country’s market access to targeted export markets such as United States, Japan, European Union, South Korea, and Taiwan.

“Moreover, almost all imported raw materials and intermediate inputs and capital equipment requirements can be imported duty free. Once the IT Agreement expansion is entered into force, it will provide the Philippines with access to over 90 percent of global IT trade. Furthermore, it will create jobs through increase in FDIs (foreign direct investments) and will help boost GDP (gross domestic product) growth for our country,” Cristobal added.

Under the trade deal, reductions in tariff of IT products will begin in 2016 and the full elimination of tariffs will be implemented within three years. (PNA)