By Leslie D. Venzon
CEBU CITY, Sept. 3 (PNA) — Filipino consumers can benefit from cheaper goods and services resulting from the implementation of trade-liberalizing and business-facilitating measures by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies.
APEC Spokesperson and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Charles Jose said trade liberalization in the region, one of the main agenda of APEC, is a policy decision usually involving lowering of tariffs and non-tariff barriers.
“Of course, consumers will definitely benefit once we lower tariff because that means we will have cheaper goods and services available to us,” he explained in a press briefing here.
In terms of business facilitation, Jose said APEC members have embarked on many initiatives, particularly those in the area of customs procedures.
He said the APEC Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) is working on the harmonization of the customs tariffs.
Jose particularly cited various Cebu ports which can benefit from faster release of goods resulting from the harmonization of all the customs code in the APEC economies.
“That’s one way of facilitating and making business easier here in Cebu,” he added.
Cebu City is hosting the APEC Third Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings from Aug. 22 to Sept. 11.
Jose said 70 out of 87 meetings scheduled here were so far completed. (PNA)