BRUNEI DARUSSALAM (Mabuhay) – The Philippines is prepared for the envisioned ASEAN community by 2015, which would mean elimination or reduction of barriers to trade and flow of goods that may affect certain industries, a Palace official said.
“We’re doing our best to prepare for that,” Secretary Ramon Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office said in a media briefing at the Times Hotel here Wednesday.
Carandang is one of the members of the Philippine delegation accompanying President Benigno S. Aquino III in his attendance to the 23rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits here in Brunei.
“We believe that this is in the interest of consumers in all of our countries, which is why this has been pursued. It will enhance the competitiveness and the efficiency of our businesses. And, at the same time, it will provide competition in the retail and it will provide competition for supply of goods, and that should lead to lower retail prices, so we believe that the consumers will benefit from something like this,” he said.
Despite certain benefits however, Carandang said there are certain industries that need to do more preparation than others, and the government is helping those industries prepare.
There are also initiatives from the industries themselves, not just from the government for them to prepare, he said.
He added that Industries and companies intending to do business throughout the region in the coming years, are themselves aware of the challenges and are preparing in their own ways to meet those challenges.
“We’ve had a lot of time to prepare for this. This is not something that is a surprise. So we feel that, by 2015, we should be prepared to deal with it and we should actually benefit from it,” Carandang said.
With regards to some trade barriers, he noted that there are certain restrictions that will be allowed to be retained but he made an assurance that the Philippines will be ready for any stumbling block ahead. (MNS)