Web portal to enhance trade, business opportunities for APEC MSMEs launched

By Kris M. Crismundo

MANILA, (PNA) — Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies now have better access to trade information with the APEC Trade Repository (APECTR).

APECTR is an online reference tool for trade and tariff information that works towards trade facilitation, transparency, information dissemination and connectivity in the region.

It is a Philippine-led initiative under the Boracay Action Agenda (BBA) that aims to facilitate the participation of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in global value chain adopted by APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) during their meeting here in May.

Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo, at the media launch of APECTR on Sunday, said the APECTR is in line with the provision in the BBA to provide timely and accurate information on exports and imports procedures and requirements.

Rodolfo noted that access to trade data remains a key concern for MSMEs in participating in global and regional trade.

“In our consultations with MSMEs, easy access to trade-related information has been consistently cited as a critical barrier to their being able to penetrate export markets or being able to access alternative sources of inputs overseas,” Rodolfo said.

“Therefore, the APECTR seeks to address this problem,” he added.

The APECTR expands the information available to public from APEC Tariff and Rules of Origin Website (WebTR) which provides tariff data only to other trade-related information including most favored nation (MFN) tariff rates, preferential tariff rates, rules of origin, best practices in trade facilitation, domestic trade and customs laws and regulations, procedure and documentary requirements, Authorized Economic Operators, and other trade measures.

Rodolfo further said the new virtual trade repository of the forum will be collaboratively maintained by the APEC Secretariat and the Philippine government with commitments from 20 other member economies to provide latest trade data.

The APECTR is accessible through tr.apec.org. (PNA)