'ASEAN integration to prepare PH for Trans-Pacific Partnership'

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is a good preparation for the Philippines' participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

AEC envisions the free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor, and freer flow of capital among the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) member states: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

TPP, meanwhile is an ambitious effort that, if finally concluded, will not only reduce tariffs among participating markets, but also establish standards for a number of issues, such as intellectual property, environment protection, and labor rights.

The TPP is being negotiated between the US and 11 other countries, namely Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei. These countries account for about 40% of the global economy.

To take to part in the TPP, the Philippines must take proactive steps to review certain areas of its regulatory environment, PCCI president Alfredo Yao shared coming from his recent meeting with US ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg.

Yao also cited the need to improve infrastructure that will enable industries to benefit from the country's international trade commitments.

As the Philippines' is gearing up for ASEAN 2015, there are plenty of opportunities to scale up the value chain and promote trade and investment activities.