ASEAN in­te­gra­tion to ben­e­fit PH-Fobap

Manila Bulletin - - Business News -

The Philip­pines needs to boost its com­pet­i­tive­ness and the ca­pa­bil­ity of its lo­cal in­dus­tries by mod­ern­iz­ing pro­duc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties to fully ben­e­fit from the huge op­por­tu­ni­ties of the eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion by the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN).

As the coun­try hosts the ASEAN Lead­ers' Sum­mit this week, For­eign Buy­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of the Philip­pines (Fobap) pres­i­dent Robert Young said mod­ern­iza­tion in­volves dig­i­tal process pro­duc­tion.

"Gar­ments, footwear and ap­parel and oth­ers are now be­ing man­u­fac­tured by up­dated for­eign fac­to­ries by ro­bot­ics and us­ing dig­i­tal process, for faster, more ac­cu­rate turnover and less man­power la­bor cost," he said.

Young said com­pa­nies also need to pro­vide glob­ally com­pli­ant work­ing place to gain com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage in the ASEAN re­gion.

"Glob­ally com­pli­ant is adopt­ing to the im­por­ta­tion rules and reg­u­la­tions of the for­eign buy­ers abroad. Each coun­try has now im­ple­mented that all goods en­ter­ing their coun­try were not made by child la­bor, not in a sweat shop, drug-free fac­tory, prac­tic­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal waste man­age­ment, etc.," he said.

Young listed other im­per­a­tives for suc­cess in ASEAN eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion, in­clud­ing ad­e­quate in­fra­struc­ture, in­dus­try-friendly fi­nan­cial pro­gram, and com­pet­i­tive en­ergy and la­bor costs.

"Philip­pines has still pend­ing mustdo in the plate," he added.

Young be­lieves that ASEAN's lib­er­al­iza­tion, fa­cil­i­ta­tion and co­op­er­a­tion mea­sures can help shape the cur­rent eco­nomic con­di­tion of each coun­try mem­ber.

ASEAN groups 10 coun­tries – Brunei, Cam­bo­dia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myan­mar, the Philip­pines, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land and Viet­nam.

"There­fore it is boon for those who have at­tained im­proved, co­he­sive and adapted fun­da­men­tals which are ready to the chal­lenges of the in­te­gra­tion. And it is bane for those who are not," he said.

ASEAN es­tab­lished the AEC Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity (AEC) in 2015 with the goal of al­low­ing the free flow of goods, ser­vices, in­vest­ments and skilled la­bor, and the freer move­ment of cap­i­tal across the re­gion. (Ph­lex­port News & Fea­tures).

PH-SOUTH AFRICA BI­LAT­ERAL CON­SUL­TA­TIVE FO­RUM – The Philip­pines and South Africa re­cently con­cluded the 4th Bi­lat­eral Con­sul­ta­tive Fo­rum held at Di­a­mond Ho­tel. The an­nual con­sul­ta­tion al­lows the dif­fer­ent gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and agen­cies to meet one an­other in order to re­view the sta­tus of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and to de­lib­er­ate on ways in which these could be strength­ened. Shown (from left) are: Robert Young, For­eign Buy­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of the Philip­pines pres­i­dent; Am­bas­sador Anil Sook­lal, Depart­ment of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions and Co­op­er­a­tion of South Africa; Am­bas­sador Martin Slab­ber, South African Em­bassy; and Ralph Lim Joseph, Philip­pines-South­ern African Busi­ness Coun­cil pres­i­dent.

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