News From : DagangHalal.com (30 Dec 2009)
Filipino and Kuwaiti officials held a meeting to strengthen trade relations and improve the flow of investments, goods and services between the two nations, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said. Trade Senior Undersecretary Thomas Aquino said this meeting “will put into realization the implementation of the trade agreement between [the Philippines and Kuwait] that was signed in September 1997 in Kuwait.”
During the First Philippine-Kuwait Joint Trade Committee Meeting on December 19 and 20 in Makati City, visiting Kuwaiti business delegation expressed interest in investing in financial services and infrastructure in the country, as well as participating in the privatization of government assets.
Last year, Kuwait was the Philippines’ 45th largest trading partner and was ranked 41st and 47th as a merchandise export destination and import supplier, respectively, the Trade department said.
Philippine exports to the Kuwait last year amounted to $42 million, about a fourth of which were air conditioning units and another one-fourth, processed tuna.
Imports from Kuwait last year reached about $50 million, 85.81 percent of which was fuel and 14.42 percent, plastic goods.
During the said meeting, the Philippine trade officials had requested their Kuwaiti counterparts to reduce the processing time for visa applications of Filipino businessmen and government officials. They also asked for the reduction of the 15-day clearance time for product samples shipped to Kuwait for trade missions, exhibitions and fairs or potential buyers.
On top of that, the Philippines asked Kuwait to bring down the authentication fees and shorten the current five-day authentication period for trade documents.
Through this bilateral meeting, the Philippines secured Kuwaiti’s assistance to Filipino food exporters by providing pertinent information on product standards and by reducing the authentication fees on halal certification.
The meeting also yielded several agreements between the two nations such as the fast tracking of the implementation of the Double Taxation Agreement that was signed in Kuwait on November, the DTI said.
The two countries also agreed to activate their Agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments forged in March 2000.