In our research for the Tambuyog Development Center, we learned about the plan to integrate all the ASEAN countries into one economic community by 2015. They seek to achieve higher levels of prosperity, inclusive growth and development among the south-east Asian countries. This blueprint hopes to transform the ASEAN into a single market and production base and a highly competitive region that’s fully integrated into the global economy.
In order for the ASEAN to become a single market and production base, there should be a free flow of goods, services, investment, capital, and skilled labour. Through the ASEAN Free Trade Area, significant progress has been achieved in removing tariff boundaries. However, for true free trade to be achieved, there should be a removal of the non-tariff boundaries as well through enhanced transparency.
For the Philippine fisheries trade with the ASEAN, there are some definite benefits when this community becomes established. Philippine fisheries trade with ASEAN is only a small fraction of its fisheries trade with the world. From 2002 to 2012, exports to and imports from ASEAN contributed only 5.0 percent, 9.3 percent to total fisheries exports and imports to the world. And the destination of our exports have been mainly to Singapore and Thailand, with Singapore receiving 50.7 percent and Thailand 32.8 percent. Increasing the rate of our exchange within the ASEAN as well as broadening our export destinations will surely be beneficial to the community.
Flora Anne R. Palabrica, 2012-24581