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Philippines seen keeping rice import controls until 2017
Publication Date : 24-06-2014
The Philippines has practically secured an extension of rice import barriers until 2017 as all countries with interest in accessing the local market have assented, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said Monday.
“Our trade (negotiating) panel was successful in Geneva,” Alcala said, referring to the home city of the World Trade Organisation or 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.
The agriculture chief said that this next step was “merely formality” and that 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.”