Friday, October 22, 2021
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FTAs no great shakes, according to forwarders

RECENT free trade agreements (FTAs) entered into by the country will not greatly benefit international freight forwarders, at least not in the short term.

A number of FTAs, in particular within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), went into effect last January 1 which brought down to zero the tariff on certain commodities.

Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association president Nelson Mendoza told PortCalls the agreements will have little positive effect on Philippine cargo volume due to the expected competition from Asian neighbors.

“Import volume will be affected but will eventually stabilize,” Mendoza said.

The main beneficiary to all of this, he added, will be the public because they will have more choices at a lower price.

Competition from Asian neighbors will be stiff but the situation will also make Philippine manufacturers more efficient in the long run, as they only manufacture products in high demand and buy the rest from cheaper sources, Mendoza said.

In the long term, he added, this will mean stable cargo volume for the country.


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