ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU

ASSIST Train-the-Trainers Workshop (Philippines)

MANILA, 13 August 2021

The second batch of the ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST) Train-the-Trainers Workshop for the Philippines was completed today. The two-day training was organized due to the high level of interest to participate in the training from the Philippines private sector. The first batch of ASSIST Train-the-Trainers Workshop for the Philippines was held on 21-22 July 2021. Participants from the two trainings consisted of representatives from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Women’s Business Council Philippines, law offices, consulting firms, SME business owners, and other trade associations and business organizations in the Philippines. ASEAN Secretariat officers also joined the training as co-trainers.

With support by the European Union (EU), the training workshop was organized in collaboration between the ARISE Plus and the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN). Ms. Hasduna Putri Adamy, Expert under the ARISE Plus Regional Project, who was also the trainer for this training, delivered the welcoming remarks and encouraged participants to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by ASSIST to interact with ASEAN Governments in relation to intra-ASEAN cross-border trade issues. In her closing remarks, Ms. Ma. Aurora “Boots” Geotina-Garcia, Chairperson of the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PHILWEN), ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) focal point for the Philippines said, “We thank ARISE Plus for their support in building the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR) where all laws, regulations, rules, requirements, and standards are made available to everyone. These trainings were extremely helpful in learning how to navigate and use the ATR portal to search on all trade regulations across all ASEAN countries. These technological tools give power to businesses, whether small and/or women owned and we hope that the knowledge will be passed on to other entrepreneurs. PhilWEN is proud to have supported this project and we endeavour to take on and collaborate on other competency building webinars available so that we can power more Philippine businesses especially the women entrepreneurs into their well-deserved place in ASEAN’s economy.

This training caters primarily to the private sector, and is designed to benefit and help participants to develop, organize and deliver training modules on how to use ASSIST, a free, online, non-binding and consultative mechanism which can be used by ASEAN businesses to lodge complaints to ASEAN governments in relation to intra-ASEAN cross-border trade issues (for Trade in Goods and Trade in Services). Simulation exercises using hypothetical case studies were also conducted to give participants a better understanding of the step-by-step ASSIST process. Participants of the training workshops are expected to become trainers and conduct future capacity building exercises on ASSIST to the benefit of their colleagues, members of their trade associations/business organizations, and fellow entrepreneurs. That is why the training is conducted with a smaller group of participants, so as to maximize focus and individual involvement.

The ARISE Plus Regional Project will remain available to work with the private sector to advance ASSIST by holding regular outreach and awareness creation events and training of trainers, in cooperation with the respective private sector stakeholders, gearing towards greater intra-ASEAN trade and regional economic integration.

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