7 January 2014
4:00 – 6:00 pm
PCED Auditorium
School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman
Diliman, Quezon City

Dr. Mia Mikic, Chief of Trade Policy and Analysis Section, Trade and Investment Division, UNESCAP, presented the APTIR results for the region via videoconferencing, and Dr. Florian Alburo, CATIF President, presented the Philippine results. The panel of discussants consisted of Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr., Department of Trade and Industry; Mr. Francis Lopez, President, InterCommerce Network Services, Inc.; Mr. Fernando V. Navarra, Jr., President and CEO of Southern Star Agencia Maritima, Inc.; and Prof. Ramon L. Clarete, Executive Director, PCED.

APTIR analyzes national policies as well as regional and global developments affecting trade and investments in Asia and Pacific economies. This year’s edition, subtitled “Turning the Tide: Towards Inclusive Trade and Investment”, notes the while economies in the region have generally sustained their economic growth and reduced absolute poverty levels mainly through increased international openness, income inequalities at both national and regional levels have been rising.  Such a perverse impact of export-led growth underscores the need for complementary policies that will spread the benefits of growth and bring marginalized economic groups into fold.  The report exhorts policymakers to consider more innovative development strategies that pursue inclusive growth alongside the promotion of trade and investments.

The report finds that the Philippines is among those countries that have experienced robust economic growth in recent years owing to increasing trade and investment openness. However, while the country continued to attract investments despite the global economic slowdown, its international trade costs have not been reduced enough to facilitate the integration of domestic firms into regional and global production networks.  This is shown by the Philippine ranking in the UNESCAP’s International Supply Chain Connectivity (ISCC) Index, 59th out of 179 countries, which puts it squarely behind its neighbors such as Malaysia (5th) , Thailand (33rd ), Vietnam (37th) and Indonesia (46th).