Back-channels are hurting trade for Philippine banana exporters, says Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said the Philippine government will raise concern about the dubious practice of some countries engaging in back channel negotiations that have sabotaged formal agreements between Filipino banana exporters and their traditional clients.

Speaking to reporters at the Abreeza Ayala Mall Saturday, Duterte said the government will raise this during the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina early next month.

“Back trading is unfair,” Duterte said. “It’s better to bring this to a world forum because it’s not allowed.”

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol told President Duterte that he would raise the item in Argentina in December.

Duterte added that the government would also look at installing a banana council to look into the plight of the sector.

“We’re not the only one affected by that,” Duterte said of the import-export issues faced by the sector.

Duterte added that the Russian market that would be tapped by Filipino exporters would “open a small window to Eastern Europe.”

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