THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Philippines, Japan Bilateral Meeting

Author: DA Communications Group | 16 October 2019

As part of the bilateral meeting between the Philippines and Japan held on October 16, 2019 in Brunei Darussalam, Philippine Agriculture Secretary William Dar reiterated the request to Japan Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) Shinya Fujiki to lower the tariffs imposed on Philippine bananas.

Japan used to be the largest importer of Philippine bananas for nearly three decades (1991-2017) until China swift the spot, buying more than 1.1 million tons in 2018. This redounds to a 56 percent increase from 2017’s banana import.

Currently, Japan is one of the countries where imported bananas from the Philippines are taxed heavily. It is due to this concern that Dar requested a zero tariff on the banana.

Other matters that Dar tabled during the bilateral meeting included the Philippines’ request for updates on the market access for Hass avocados and the accreditation of Philippines as Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)-free country. Meanwhile, among the issues that Vice Minister Fujiki raised include the elimination of tariff on Japanese rice, and market access of Japanese strawberries in the Philippines.

Both countries agreed to fast track the submission of necessary documents to expedite the process to enhance trade for both sides. (Photos by Rita dela Cruz, DA Communications Group)