The Philippines will continue to push for lower seasonal tariffs on its banana exports to Japan on its forthcoming investment mission to Tokyo later this month.
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the lower tariffs on bananas will be part of the agenda in the 35th Meeting of the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee, Inc. (Philjec) and its counterpart Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee (JPECC) .
“We already have an ongoing review to further liberalize and strengthen certain areas. May seasonal tariffs tayo under the Philippine-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, 2.7 percent from April to September and 18 percent from October to March,” said Lopez, referring to tariffs slapped on Philippine banana exports to Japan.
This is considered a follow-up to an earlier appeal of the Philippines to lower the seasonal tariffs made during the state visit of President Duterte to Japan last October.
The 35th Philjec-JPECC meeting will take place on February 28 in Japan, and will also serve as an investment mission to draw in further interest from Japanese companies into the Philippines.
Japan is the Philippines’s largest trading partner.
The Philippines’s exports to Japan have amounted to $15 billion in 2015, and from January to November of 2016 have totaled to $11 billion. Imports, meanwhile, are at $6.4 billion in 2015, and from January to November of 2016 have amounted to $8.6 billion.
Among the notable Japanese firms that have set up shop here are Toshiba, Canon, Epson, Toyota and Tsuneishi Heavy Industries.