09 June 2014 – The Philippines successfully hosted the first National Workshop on Services: Advancing Philippines Services Sectors in the Asia-Pacific Region and the 21st Century Global Economy from June 2 to 4 at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati.
The Workshop was co-hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Office of the Undersecretary for International Economic Relations – APEC National Secretariat and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), in partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC) in Geneva and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Workshop brought together local and international experts from multilateral institutions, think-tanks, national agencies, business and other organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), ITC, APEC, ASEAN, ADB, among others to share their views and analysis on the latest developments and opportunities in the trade in services.
In preparation for the Philippines’ discussion of services during its chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2015, the Workshop served as a substantive input to the development of a comprehensive and long-term strategy to promote and maximize the potential of the Philippines’ services sectors in the global economy, including through the revitalization of the Philippine Services Coalition (PSC).
On June 4, public and private stakeholders gathered together to begin the road towards a comprehensive services strategy for the Philippines, The partnership between the Philippines, through the National Competitiveness Council, and the International Trade Centre on the development and promotion of the country’s services agenda was also reaffirmed.
Services trade has long been recognized by APEC member economies as an important driver of global economy. In the Philippines, the services sector expanded by 7.1 percent in 2013, contributing to the overall GDP growth of 7.2 percent. In 2013, services accounted for 57 percent of total GDP.
Recognizing the competitive advantages of the Philippines, particularly its pool of talented and skilled people, including the estimated 10.4 million Filipinos abroad, the Workshop concluded that the Philippines can be the heart of services trade in the Asia Pacific. END