By Dominic I. Sanchez
QUEZON CITY, April 5 (PIA) – “The world is looking at us,” said Director Ann Claire Credo-Cabochan of the Bureau of International Trade Relations of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) during a meeting with ASEAN focal persons from the different regions of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here yesterday (April 4).
According to Director Cabochan, the world’s economies have recognized the magnitude of the ASEAN member-states collectively, particularly its role in the global economy.
“As an economy, the ASEAN is currently ranked 6th worldwide,” she said. She explained that the ASEAN member-states have a combined population of 629-million, boasting $2.4 trillion in gross domestic products. Exports are estimated at $1,182 billion while imports are at $1,088 billion.
“Intra-ASEAN trade has generated $305-billion – we buy and sell from each other,” she added. “As a united economy, we can compete with the major global players like the United States, Japan and others.”
The DTI official emphasized that there are a wide variety of opportunities that the Filipino can take advantage of, speaking particularly of micro-small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that are considered to be the sector most benefited by the integration and globalization. She said that DTI, being the chair of the economic community has been encouraging more and more MSMEs to become globally competitive as well as creating and fostering a favorable investment climate for the ASEAN neighbors. (ALT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)