Philippines seeks more banana export opportunities

The Philippines Department of Trade and Industry announced it has initiated negotiations with Japan, Korea and Australia for lower tariffs and higher volume of exports of bananas, a key produce of southern Philippines.

Ramon Lopez, secretary of the Department, said that President Duterte had had the opportunity to bring up the matter with the leaders of these countries on the side-lines of the Asean Summit last November. reports that regarding Japan and Korea, the Philippines wants to correct the imbalance in the tariff structure, as tariffs remain high despite existing free trade agreements under the auspices of Asean. The reciprocal tariff rates being pushed are 0 to 5 percent. High-value fruits like strawberry, persimmon and pear coming from Korea for example are now at this level but bananas going to Korea are slapped with a 25 to 30 percent tariff.

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