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BritCham lauds extension of reduced tariff for meat, other agri-products

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The British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) lauded the extension of lowered tariff rates until 2024 through the signing of Executive Order No. 50 last 22 December 2023 to assist with inflation and maintaining food supply–with President Marcos citing the challenge of El Niño and African Swine Fever (ASF). 

(BCCP) Executive Director/Trustee Chris Nelson mentioned that the extension was among the priority goals of the British Chamber for 2024 and has consistently advocated for it throughout the years. Several activities and events were held previously including the Meat Trade Mission on 17-19th May 2022 in partnership with the UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) which was attended by British meat exporters and conducted market visits and briefings with the Department of Agriculture, local importers, and the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI). 

In 2023, it maintained its support for the extension of reduced tariffs through its position paper submitted to the Tariff Commission last October and once again gathered Philippine meat importers, government officials from the Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Deogracias Victor B. Savellano, Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Import Services and Food and Agri-Marine Division, Bureau of Customs, British Embassy Manila, and UK Department for Business and Trade during its Philippine-British Meat Trade Mission 2023. 

“Based on what we’ve seen in the trends, extending the lowered tariffs will help in the fight against inflation. Our optimism is based on the work we have done and we aim to continue strengthening those relationships and with that, the pork will increase again. We had a banner year in 2022 and we expect growth again in 2024,” Nelson said in an interview. 

(BCCP Executive Director/Trustee Chris Nelson with DA Undersecretary for Livestock DV Savellano)

To further ensure the stability of food supply, the British Chamber also supports the signing of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act which is tagged as a priority bill of the Marcos administration and is expected to pass within the year. Nelson added: 

“What we also want to emphasize is the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act because we want to help UK exports and we make sure the local sector is supported and protected. Clearly, the passage of this bill is very important and we appreciate the government and we would like to see it pass [into law] as soon as possible.”

Overall, the British Chamber aims to continue supporting the Philippines in its goal of becoming an investment destination by boosting the British community presence in the country while maintaining a competitive and sustainable market position. 

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