ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU

ARISE Plus Engages with Private Sector and Government Agencies in the Philippines

ARISE Plus attended the yearly PhilExport POWWOW event in Cebu, the Philippines on Friday, 22 November 2019.  The event was incredibly well attended, with over 400 participants from a wealth of Filipino export sectors, primarily SMEs from Region VII (Cebu).  Paolo R. Vergano, ARISE Plus Key Expert on Trade Facilitation and Transparency, gave a presentation on two flagship ASEAN trade facilitation tools, namely the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR) and the ASEAN Solutions for Services, Investment and Trade (ASSIST) which have been developed and operationalised by ASEAN with support from the European Union under the ARISE and ARISE Plus Programmes.  The ATR and ASSIST triggered a lot of interest and questions, testifying to the need for greater outreach and awareness creation at ASEAN Member States level, particularly in the provinces and among SMEs.

On the 25th and 26th of November 2019, Ms. Maes Alconcel and Paolo R. Vergano (ARISE Plus experts) worked with DTI and a number of Filipino Trade and Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs) to advance the process of identification, classification, packaging and validation of Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) in the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) sectors of regulation for upload on the ATR.  Meetings and technical discussions were held with the Department of Trade and Industry (i.e., Bureau of Import Services), which is the Philippines ATR/NTR Focal Point, and the Department of Agriculture (i.e., the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), clarifying a number of issues and validating several NTMs. To date, the Philippines have identified and packaged 170 SPS NTMs, 69 of which have already been validated and are being uploaded onto the ATR.  Initial work and planning was also conducted with respect to the NTMs in the area of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), 357 of which have so far been identified and verified by ARISE Plus.

For more information, please visit:

  1. ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR,
  2. ASEAN Solutions for Services, Investment and Trade (ASSIST,


Some of the key people that attended and spoke at the PhilExport’s event in Cebu (among them, the National President of PhilExport, Mr. Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr., the Philippines’ Deputy Commissioner, Ed Dy Buco of the Bureau of Customs, and the Vice-Mayor of Cebu, Mr. Michael Rama, as well as a number of PhilExport’s trustees)


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