The Philippines should have a clear picture of what it wants to achieve once it is given the green light to accede to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
The business sector and the academe made the call during a forum organized by the Management Association of the Philippines during its general membership meeting Thursday.
An executive of Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. said while the opportunities for trade within the RCEP block are huge, there is a need for the vertical development of local industries covered by the trade deal.
“My only concern is that once we become part of RCEP, and we remain in this small piece of this entire space with no real intellectual property and no real strength in products and services that we actually are the ‘go to’ and owners of products, then we will be marginalized and what we are going to be is that we’ll continue to be a good consumer market, but will never be that export competitive,” said IMI chief executive Arthur Tan.
The Philippines’ share of the RCEP pie on electronics was only 2.4 percent, next to Thailand’s 2.5 percent. It ranked sixth among RCEP members in terms of electronics exports, while China dominates and controls more than half of electronics trade in RCEP.