The European Union (EU) has committed some 6.1 million euros to the Philippines for the Trade-Related and Technical Assistance Project Phase Four (TRTA-4), EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said.
“We are committed to support the strengthening of Philippines’ integration into the world economy, and to contribute to the country’s inclusive growth goals,” he said during the closing ceremony of the TRTA-3 in Pasig City Tuesday.
The support for TRTA-4 will be for the next four years.
The EU and the Philippines started the TRTA in 2005.
The TRTA-3, which ran from 2014 to 2017, has focused on trade policy, competition policy, national quality infrastructure, sanitary and phytosanitary conformity, and trade facilitation.
It also supported activities of various government agencies such as Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Philippine Export Development Plan as well as giving training and capacity building for staff of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Justice’s Office for Competition, and Bureau of Customs.
Under the TRTA-3, the Philippine Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (PhilRASFF) was launched.
The PhilRASFF is a web-based alert system for food authorities to immediately respond to food safety incidents.
This will be in cooperation with EU RASFF and ASEAN RASFF and the International Network of Food Safety Authorities (INFOSAN), in which parties will be exchanging information on food safety incidents.
“By working on trade-related issues through the project, the EU and the Philippines collaborated on strengthening the framework for trade policy for inclusive growth, and enhancing our capacity to implement a competition policy and a national quality infrastructure that would protect consumers and improve compliance with international standards,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
“Trade is a lever for economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction. As ASEAN chair in 2017, the Philippines also recognizes the strong implications of trade for regional cooperation and stability,” he added.