News: British government provides technical assistance to RP -
10 May 2008
The British government will give P18 million worth of technical assistance to the Philippines to help Filipinos improve trade policy formulation and negotiation. “We are grateful to the British government for allowing us to undertake this project by providing us with this technical assistance. Surely, the I-MUST for Trade Project will enable stakeholders to be attuned with the challenges of crafting trade agreements that support our national interest and agenda for competitiveness,” Special Envoy for Trade Negotiations and Universal Access to Competitiveness and Trade (U-ACT) chairman Donald G. Dee said.
The I-MUST or the Institutionalization of Multi-Stakeholder Consultation Program on Trade Policy and Negotiations is a three year project grant that will help institutionalize public-private consultation networks to further strengthen private stakeholders’ role in trade policy formulation and negotiations.
“The project is a breakthrough in the institutionalization of private sector led reforms to improve the country’s trade negotiations capacity and development agenda,” Dee said. The U-ACT, the research and advocacy think-tank of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), was tapped to lead the project.
“In the localization of trade negotiations, the project will identify four regional hubs from among PCCI’s network of local chambers which will serve as the strategic gateways where trade policy consultations and feedback from local stakeholders will be facilitated,” he noted.
According to Dee, the I-MUST for Trade Project is designed to institutionalize a private sector led consultation network among key stakeholders from national to local levels and provide a coherent agenda for trade policy strategy formulation and negotiations.
He said upon completion, the project will establish a fully operational and private sector run trade policy center which will undertake support mechanisms to localize the creation of trade negotiations working committees to serve as counterparts in developing and gathering trade data and feedback with provincial-based stakeholders.
In addition to this, a learning institute will be built. The learning institute will provide training of personnel, trade specialists and advocates on trade policy, agreements and negotiations strategy.
Source: Manila Bulletin Online, By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, May 10, 2008