RP & Kuwait agree to hasten flow of trade and investments

RP- Kuwait agree to hasten flow of trade and investments

December 31, 2009, 1:59pm

The governments of Philippines and Kuwait have agreed to expand
trade and investments by exploring ways to improve trade relations and
ease the flow of goods, services, and investments between the two

Trade and Industry Senior Undersecretary Thomas G. Aquino said this
after the First Philippine-Kuwait Joint Trade Committee Meeting (JTCM)
was held here recently.

The bilateral meeting was considered a milestone in the history of
bilateral trade and economic relationship between the two countries.
The meeting will put into realization the implementation of the trade
agreement between the two countries that was signed on September 14,
1997 in Kuwait, Aquino said.

The JTCM was culminated by the signing of the Summary Record of
Discussions by Secretary Peter B. Favila of the DTI for the Philippines
and Minister Ahmad Rashed Al-Haroun of the Ministry of Commerce and
Industry for Kuwait.

Various issues and concerns that both countries consider as crucial
in the improvement of trade and investments for both countries were
tackled during the JTCM.

Kuwait conveyed its readiness to work with the Philippines to reduce
the processing time for visa application for Philippine businessmen and
government officials.

The reduced number of processes for visa application would ease the
travel of Philippine businessmen and government officials and therefore
would hasten the conclusion of business transactions and official
business between the two countries.

The Kuwaiti delegation also said that they will seriously study the
proposal of the Philippines to reduce the current 15-day clearance time
for trade samples intended for trade fairs, exhibitions, missions, or
prospective Philippine clients in Kuwait.

The shorter time needed to clear trade samples with customs would
encourage businessmen to expand participation in trade fairs,
exhibitions, shows, and missions.

The Philippines also expressed its interest for the reduction of
authentication fees and the shortening of the 5- day authentication
period for pertinent trade documents such as commercial invoices.

The Philippines agreed to formally submit to Kuwait a comparative
table that contains the fees charged by other similarly situated
countries in the region.

On food standards, more particularly shelf life and acceptable food
additives for food, both sides agreed to address issues that would
further open up opportunities for standards-compliant food products
from the Philippines.

Kuwait committed to provide the necessary information on the food
standards of the GCC, of which Kuwait is a member, for better
appreciation and understanding of Philippine food exporters.

The Kuwaiti delegation also promised to convey to the Kuwait
Municipality the request of the Philippines for assistance in the
recognition of the National Halal Accreditation Board of the
Philippines (NHABP) and for the reduction of authentication fees on
halal certification imposed by the Kuwaiti government.

The recognition by Kuwait of the NHABP would go a long way towards
helping Philippine halal products attain easier access to the Kuwait

The Philippine and Kuwaiti sides agreed to hasten work for the
ratification of the Double Taxation Agreement that was signed on
November 3, 2009 in Kuwait and to activate the said Agreement as soon
as possible. Both sides also agreed to ensure active status of the
Agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments
between the two countries that was signed in March 2000.

Likewise, both sides agreed to provide facilities for the exchange
of information, data, studies for both countries; participation in
conferences, symposia, exhibitions in both countries.