DTI bares move to forge partnership with Sippo, increase exports to Bern
THE Philippines is seeking partnership with a Swiss government-backed organization to complement the recently inked Philippines-European Free Trade Association (Philippines-Efta) Free Trade Agreement, and boost Manila’s exports to Bern.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in a news statement released on Friday, said the Philippines’s intent to join the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (Sippo) was discussed during this week’s second meeting of the Philippines-Switzerland Joint Economic Commission.
Sippo is a program of Switzerland Global Enterprise, a nonprofit organization commissioned by the Swiss government’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, aimed at facilitating export, import, and investment promotion of small and medium enterprises in Liechtenstein and in Switzerland.
Aside from promotion of Switzerland as a trade and investment destination, the program also helps small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from select developing countries as import sources.
It helps SMEs in these developing countries through fair support, market development and strengthening of their business support organizations to ease access to the Swiss and EU markets. Currently the program supports SMEs from 17 partner-countries and sectors in gaining access to the EU, Switzerland and other Efta countries. Country selection is based on exposure to the Swiss and EU markets, among other criteria. Sippo has concentrated its interventions on the “last mile” of the product development- cum- export value chain, namely, matchmaking between exporters and importers on the Swiss and EU markets.
Switzerland is the Philippines’s 25th trading partner with total bilateral trade valued at $556 million. The figure is foreseen to increase with the FTA, coupled with trade promotion and cooperation activities under the Joint Economic Commission.