News From : DagangHalal.com (30 Dec 2009)
THE Kuwaiti government has committed to reduce considerably the processing time of the documents for the entry of Philippine businessmen and goods to Kuwait, Trade Senior Undersecretary Thomas Aquino reported.
For Philippine products, Kuwaiti trade officials said they will seriously study the proposal of the Philippines to reduce the current 15-day clearance time for trade samples intended for trade fairs, exhibitions, missions, or prospective Philippine clients in Kuwait.
“The shorter time needed to clear trade samples with customs would encourage businessmen to expand participation in trade fairs, exhibitions, shows and missions,” Aquino said.
The Middle Eastern nation, which is the Philippines’ 45th top trading partner, is also open to reducing the authentication fees and the shortening of the five-day authentication period for pertinent trade documents such as commercial invoices.
The Philippines will formally submit to Kuwait a comparative table that contains the fees charged by other countries in the region.
Trade officials of the two countries held the First Philippine-Kuwait Joint Trade Committee Meeting (JTCM) on December 19 and 20 in Makati City to discuss ways to improve their trade relations and ease the flow of goods, services and investments.
In the meeting, Kuwait also conveyed its readiness to work with the Philippines to reduce the processing time for visa application for Philippine businessmen and government officials.
“The reduction in the processing of visa application would ease the travel of Philippine businessmen and government officials and, therefore, would hasten the consummation of business transactions and official business between the two countries,” Aquino said.
The Philippine and Kuwaiti sides agreed to hasten work on the ratification of the Double Taxation Agreement that was signed by the two countries on November 3 in Kuwait, and to activate the deal as soon as possible.
Both sides also agreed to ensure active status of the Agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between the two countries that was signed in March 2000.
Likewise, both sides agreed to provide facilities for the exchange of information, data and studies for both countries, and participation in conferences, symposia, exhibitions in both countries.
The Kuwaiti delegation also committed to assist in the recognition of the National Halal Accreditation Board of the Philippines and for the reduction of authentication fees on halal certification imposed by the Kuwaiti government.
The Philippines exported $42 million worth of goods to Kuwait in 2008, with air conditioning units accounting for 25.81 percent, followed by prepared or processed tuna at 25.69 percent.