World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo recently praised the Philippines for its sustained economic progress and the success of outsourcing in the Philippines. Due to competitive exports, good governance and openness, the Philippines has become one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, said Azevedo.
The Director-General added that the country, along with India, has become one of the world's top outsourcing destinations, with Metro Manila and Cebu City making the top 10 list of most attractive cities for outsourced services.
The Philippines' membership in the World Trade Organization has played a role in its economic success, Azevedo told the participants in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting. The WTO chief also mentioned the country's part in 2013' Bali Agreement, saying the Philippines has shown "tremendous leadership" throughout the process, and its support was vital in driving forward the partnership.
The Bali meeting led to the creation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement that is important economically to the Philippines and the rest of the world. The agreement could contribute up to $1 trillion in revenues per year to the global economy and create 21 million jobs worldwide.
"By making the movement of goods across borders faster, easier and cheaper, it is estimated that this Agreement will reduce trade costs at the border by up to 15% for developing countries," said Azevedo. "Here in the Philippines, an enhanced global trading system would offer very significant and increased opportunities for growth and development."
The members of the APEC are set to draw the terms of reference (TOR) for the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) in 2015. Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the APEC trade ministers will discuss efforts to achieve economic integration in the region, multilateral trading system support and greater participation of micro, small and medium enterprises in regional and global markets.