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Philippines Close to Extension of Rice Import Barriers until 2017

Philippines Close to Extension of Rice Import Barriers until 2017

25 June 2014

PHILIPPINES - With all countries interested in accessing the local rice market having assented, the Philippines has practically secured an extension of rice import barriers until 2017, said Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala.

“Our trade (negotiating) panel was successful in Geneva,” Alcala said, referring to the home city of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“The WTO’s Council for Trade in Goods will endorse this (extension of quantitative restrictions on Philippine importation of milled rice) for approval when the WTO general council convenes in July,” he added.

The WTO’s highest-level decision-making body is scheduled to meet on July 24-25.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the agriculture chief said this next step was “merely formality” and the Philippines could now, with authority, continue observing the controlled entry of imported rice into the domestic market.

“But this is just a temporary relief for our rice farmers,” Alcala said. “They must take advantage of the (remaining three and a half years) to make themselves competitive.”

Alcala said Filipino farmers spend about P11 to produce a kilo of palay. Cost of production is pegged at an equivalent of P8.40 a kilo in Thailand and P5.60 in Vietnam.


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