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Philippines to Strengthen Construction Ties with European Free Trade Association  

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The Department of Trade and Industry through Philippine Overseas Construction Board (POCB) conducted a consultation meeting with the stakeholders from the construction industry to formulate requests and offers lists particularly in the construction sector.

This is for the on-going negotiations on the free trade agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the European Free Trade Association (PH-EFTA).  Speakers from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC), and the Department of Energy (DOE) were invited to give background on the PH-EFTA FTA, areas of expertise of the EFTA, construction opportunities in the EFTA Member States, updates on the existing laws and regulations on renewable energy.

Undersecretary Prudencio M. Reyes, Jr., the Supervising Undersecretary for Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP) supports the endeavors of POCB and NEDA, FTSC and DOE to link with EFTA member states and seize business opportunities in construction and energy infrastructure development.

The following initial request list to the EFTA Member States was formulated at the end of the meeting:  General Construction Work for Buildings; General Construction Work for Civil Engineering; Installation and Assembly Work; Building Completion and Finishing Work; Pre-Erection Work at Construction Site; Foundation Work, concrete work, steel bending and erection; Special Trade Construction Work; Architectural, Engineering, Integrated Engineering, Urban Planning and Landscape Architectural Services.

Engr. Sonia T. Valdeavilla, Officer-in-Charge of the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP), an attached agency of the DTI, proposed to include also in the request list for the construction sector the following:  consultancy, management, design, engineering services, and skilled workers.

POCB requested for the removal of restrictions and improved commitment in general construction work for buildings, general construction works for civil engineering installation and assembly work, building completion and finishing work, and site investigation and demolition works in the initial request list.

“The aim of the consultation/workshop is to improve the deals that the Philippines could request and offer in its trade agreement with EFTA Member States as well as to the possibility of conducting construction outbound missions.” said Undersecretary Prudencio Reyes, Jr.

The consultation meeting was participated by owners, officers, representatives from the Construction Industry, Consultancy, Management, Design, Contractors, Materials, Suppliers industry and Professional organizations.

Posted By: Edrillan Pasion

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