Discussion Papers Series 1998

DP 98-15 APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization: Is the Philippines Ready?

Myrna S. Austria

The paper is an integrative report of the fifteen sectoral studies prepared to help the Philippine government define its position and strategy in its participation in the APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization program. Analysis shows that because most of the 15 sectors are not yet competitive to withstand the competitive pressure arising from EVSL, the country will benefit if it agrees to an early" sectoral liberalization but applying APEC's principle on differentiated timetable. The 3 percent tariff level to which most of the products/commodities proposed for EVSL belong to is already considered low. An acceleration of tariff reduction below 3 percent will put a greater strain on the sectors, especially that most of the sectors are considered sensitive industries, The sectors are considered better prepared for global liberalization by the year 2004. An exception, however, are the proposals on telecommunications Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) and civil aircraft. Because of the benefits that the country could get from these two proposals, it is recommended that the country should sign to the agreement as scheduled and commit to the early liberalization of the civil aircraft sector. Strategies and programs that would enhance the competitiveness of the sectors are also identified, including the. economic and technical cooperation measures that the country should advance in APEC.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9815.pdf


DP 98-14 APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization of the Automotive Sector

Rodrigo Romea, Jr. and Jose Godofredo Arturo Carandang

Early liberalization of the automotive industry within APEC was proposed by the USA. With automobiles comprising approximately 8 percent of global exports in 1995, of which 45 percent originate from the APEC region.2 The industry is easily identified as one of the sectors that could greatly benefit from trade-promoting policies among within APEC. The long-term benefits of the EVSL Program on the automotive industry were evident to all the industry participants who took part in the consultation. They however, unanimously feel that the current pace of liberalization being undertaken in the ASEAN is already quick; and that the setting of even earlier targets for the removal of existing trade barriers will be detrimental to the local industry.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9814.pdf


DP 98-13 The Effects of the APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization on the Fertilizer Sector

Marissa Macam et al.

This paper examines the effects of EVSL on the fertilizer sector including the problems that prevent it from benefitting fully from the proposal. The export competitiveness of manufactured fertilizers, as evident by the computed revealed comparative advantage has been declining and will be vulnerable in the face of greater competition. Hence, existing tariffs on these products should be maintained but the non-locally produced fertilizers (including urea) should be liberalized. The economic and technical cooperation measures to be advanced in APEC are also discussed.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9813.pdf


DP 98-12 The Effects of the APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization on the Oilseeds and the Oilseed Products Sector

Rolando Dy et al.

Oilseed and oilseed products are one of the fifteen sectors proposed for early voluntary sectoral liberalization. The proposal was that all tariffs, non-tariff barriers, export quotas and other trade distorting measures would be phased-out by 2000 and bound in the WTO schedules.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9812.pdf


DP 98-11 The Effects of the APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization on the Natural and Synthetic Rubber Sector

Marissa Macam et al.

This paper examines the effects of EVSL on the natural and synthetic rubber sector, including the problems that can prevent it from benefiting fully from the proposal. Natural rubber processes export potential and is undergoing the process of regeneration and will be vulnerable in the face of greater competition. Hence, this sector should be given temporary protection in the short run to attract investments and perhaps to help remedy the peace and order problems. Imported synthetic rubber should however be liberalized immediately. The economic and technical cooperation measures to be advances in APEC are also discussed.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9811.pdf


DP 98-10  The Impact of Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization on the Philippine Civil Aircraft

Rafaelita M. Aldaba

This paper shows that the implementation of EVSL program has a positive impact on the Philippine civil aircraft industry. The country has already unilaterally liberalized the industry in 1996. The current tariff rates range from 3 to 30 percent, with the bulk falling under the 3 percent tariff level. In the light of the industry’s strength and weaknesses, its liberalization could lead to the development of local technological capability in aircraft parts manufacturing, and maintenance.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9810.pdf


DP 98-09 The Effects of APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization on the Philippine Food Sector

Myrna S. Austria and Euben C. Paracuelles

The paper examines the likely impact of the APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization on the Philippine food sector. The analysis shows that it is important to level the playing field among the APEC member economies. Unless the developed member economies will eliminate or substantially reduce their production and export subsidies for their agricultural sector, there is nothing more to gain from further tariff reductions because their tariff rates are already low. The Philippines should use the EVSL initiative as a strategy to prepare and position the sector for its eventual liberalization. Hence, strategies and programs that would enhance the competitiveness of the sector are identified, including the economic and technical cooperation measures that the country should advance in APEC. Early liberalization, however, is recommended for products that are vital inputs to food processing.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9809.pdf


DP 98-08 APEC, Philippines and Telecommunications Mutual Recognition Agreements

Johnson M. Chua

In the quest for global integration, efforts to open markets are increasingly shifting tariff to non-tariff measures. Given the successful efforts of the WTO to lower tariff barriers and the commitment of many countries to accelerate tariff reductions in an attempt to foster regional integration, the battleground of free trade advocates has shifted too. One aspect of this battle involves the often arbitrary and anti-trade use of standards and compliance requirements. In telecommunications, ths involves the use of regulatory requirements related to testing and certification on telecommunications equipment.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9808.pdf


DP 98-07 APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization: Energy

Joel Tanchuco

Effects of tariff reduction on energy products are expected to be minimal, except on natural gas. Liberalizing non-tariff measures should concentrate on removing/minimizing tax differentials across petroleum products. On the provision of services within the energy sector, liberalization would involve instituting greater transparency when awarding contracts and relaxing entry requirements into the industry. Most of the ecotech measures proposed involve demand management, efficiency, transmission, exploration and survey technologies and the setting up of the proposed electricity contract markets.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9807.pdf


DP 98-06 The Effects of the APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization on the Forest Products Sector

Ms. Marissa M. P. Macam Ms. Cristina M. Bautista Dr. Leonardo Lanzona

This paper examines the effects of the EVSL on the forest product sector. Despite having shown export competitiveness and efficiency in the world market, wood manufacturers would be vulnerable to liberalization because of decreasing computed revealed comparative advantage. Paper and paperboard are nonetheless found to be efficient industries. Given the available natural resources, processed wood products and the tree growing and the conservation activities may be excluded from the EVSL to assure investments in replanting and reforestation. The imported inputs of paper and paper products nonetheless should be liberalized immediately. Economic and technical measures are discussed.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9806.pdf


DP 98-05 The Effects of the APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization on Fish and Fish Products

This paper examines the likely effects of the EVSL on the fish and fish products sector, including the problems that prevent it from benefiting fully from the proposal. A competitive and efficient sector will not likely experience adverse consequences from the EVSL. Findings indicate that fresh and frozen shellfish and prepared and preserved fish have shown potential export competitiveness in the world market relative to the other fish sub-sectors and thus can be offered to EVSL. Though prepared and preserved fish can also be able to compete, these products seem vulnerable to face greater competition.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9805.pdf


DP 98-04 Effects of the Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization on Jewelry and Gems

Ramon Quesada, Ceferino Rodolfo, Leonardo Tomas, David Tan

The Philippine jewelry industry has long been identified by the government with luxury - thereby leading to the imposition of high taxes and tariffs. This state has driven most industry players underground. As part of the informal economy, the sector is now plagued with problems of informal sourcing of raw materials, unclear definitions regarding its products, and neglect by government according to industry insiders. This is sad considering the export potential of the local jewelry sector - considering its strengths particularly the high skill of local craftsman - aside from the foregone tax revenues and the lost opportunity of raising local incomes. The EVSL is a welcome development in the industry's road toward increasing its formalization and in solving its raw material sourcing difficulties. However, the full opening of the local market for finished jewelry and pearls requires careful consideration as local producers need time to adjust for being so informal for so long.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9804.pdf


DP 98-03 APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization on Medical Equipment, Instruments and Devices

Ma. Teresa C. Sanchez-Robielos

The medical equipment, instrument, and device sector covers the manufacturers and traders of instruments, apparatus_ or contrivances, including their components, parts, and accessories, all of which have intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or animals; or to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or animals. 2 The medical equipment and instruments sector includes products such as blood pressure apparatus, eye-examining instruments and apparatus, intravenous apparatus, surgical instruments, dental equipment, CAT-scans, Xray equipment, electromedical equipment, and in vitro diagnostic substances. The scope has been expanded to include other scientific instruments such as hydrometers, thermometers, barometers, instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking, oscilloscopes, and spectrum analyzers.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9803.pdf


DP 98-02 Analysis of the Proposed Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization Program for the Environmental Goods and Services Sector

Danilo C. Israel

This paper evaluates the potential impacts of the EVSL program for the environmental goods and services sector, and discusses the actions developed as a response to the proposed program. It argued that the program has several potential benefits in terms of improved environmental protection and management, and better economic performance both at the sectoral and national levels. The program, however, has potential costs also and these should be mitigated by forceful measures designed to help the disadvantaged sectors, especially the local environmental goods and services industry. The paper further explained that based on multisectoral consultations, a cautiously supportive response to the EVSL program is preferred, due mainly to the hesitance of affected sectors to make broader decisions based on inadequate data and information.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9802.pdf


DP 98-01 APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization and Its Implications on the Philippine Toy Industry

Myrna S. Austria

The paper analyzes the likely impacts of the APEC Early Voluntary Sectoral' Liberalization 0EVSL) program on the Philippine toy industry. The analysis shows that the industry failed to flourish and follow the technology-driven development path that made the toy industries of the country's Asian neighbors captured the world market. Because the industry is not yet fully competitive, it would be beneficial for the industry to follow the tariff reduction schedule under the Tariff Reform Program, instead of the EVSL proposal to bring down tariffs to zero beginning the year 2000. An exception to this, however, covers products where there are no local producers and hence, an early liberalization is proposed. Strategies and programs that would enhance the competitiveness of the industry to compete in a more open trading environment are also discussed.

Link: https://pascn.pids.gov.ph/files/Discussions%20Papers/1998/pascndp9801.pdf