Office of the Undersecretary for International Trade
SECTION 11. Office of the Undersecretary for International Trade.—The Office of the Undersecretary for International Trade shall include all the units involved in policy formulation, standards development, program development, and program monitoring of the development, regulatory, and service delivery programs of the Department pertinent to international trade and commerce being implemented by the Department’s line operating units. The Undersecretary for International Trade shall supervise the following:
(1) Bureau of International Trade Relations. This Bureau shall be the primary agent responsible for all matters pertaining to foreign trade relations, whether bilateral, regional or multilateral, especially market access and market access related matters; formulate positions and strategies for trade negotiations, consultations and conferences as well as supervise trade negotiations, consultations and conferences; coordinate with other Departments and agencies of the Philippine government with the view of assuring consistency in the government’s positions in trade negotiations and on other activities pertaining to foreign trade relations; consult with industry groups and provide technical advice and information on the above matters and activities; identify tariff and non-tariff barriers affecting products of export interest to the Philippines, and negotiate measures for liberalizing them at bilateral, regional and multilateral form; and evaluate and submit recommendations on existing and proposed commercial policies of the Philippines.
(2) Bureau of Export Trade Promotion. This Bureau shall formulate and monitor programs, plans, and projects pertinent to the development, promotion, and expansion of the foreign trade of the Philippines; formulate country and product export strategies; conduct research on new product development and adaptation opportunities in the export markets, as well as identify the domestic supply base for such products, prepare situation reports on all export production; prepare and update country and regional market profiles; maintain an integrated information system on all aspects of the products and commodities relevant to export marketing; formulate, plan, supervise, coordinate and monitor the implementation of both private and official incoming and outgoing missions, and review the results of such; promote and coordinate international subcontracting arrangements between and among foreign and Philippine investors whereby production operations and facilities may be located in the Philippines; formulate and monitor the implementation of policies and guidelines for the registration and certification of bona fide exporters eligible for the various export incentive programs of the Philippines; and review and identify appropriate measures to minimize or deregulate export-import procedures and other foreign trade laws necessary to stimulate the international marketing of Philippine products.
(3) Foreign Trade Service Corps. This Corps shall assist Philippine businessmen, producers, and exporters with marketing information, project development support, and liaison with foreign government agencies; develop marketing and commercial intelligence for dissemination to Philippine businessmen through the Trade and Investment Information Center; provide direct support to the Department’s overseas promotional programs; assist Philippine businessmen handle trade complaints against foreign firms and governments; support Department units in import and export administration, monitoring of trade agreements, and investments promotion; and be accountable for establishment of foreign investment and export targets for their respective areas of responsibility.
In addition to the existing Foreign Trade Service Corps, the President may appoint Trade Commissioners with the rank of Assistant Secretary to coordinate trade and investment matters in the various continents to which they are assigned for the purpose of increasing trade and investments.
(4) Bonded Export Marketing Board. This Board shall promote the establishment of bonded manufacturing and trading facilities for the re-export of those products where a clear net value added may be generated based on the emerging comparative advantage of the Philippine export industry; study and analyze the international market for specific products where the Philippines has or can develop a comparative advantage; recommend to the Bureau of Customs the licensing of bonded manufacturing facilities and monitor all bonded manufacturing sites, with the objective of ensuring operational efficiency; identify and designate sites where export bonded manufacturing sites shall be located with a view of dispersal to the regions; and initiate studies on the development and maintenance of the country’s competitive advantage in export products.
(5) Philippine Shippers’ Council. This Council shall represent Philippine shippers in international liner conferences and negotiate in their behalf, for more favorable freight and shipping rates; evaluate and issue waivers to the use of Philippine flag carriers; and provide assistance and information to Philippine shippers, specially exporters, in matters related to shipping.
(6) Philippine Trade Training Center. This Center shall develop training modules on export and import techniques and procedures; raise the level of awareness of Philippine businessmen of export opportunities and the availability of alternative sources of import products or diversified markets for exports; offer specialized courses for specific industry groups directed at overcoming barriers to overseas market penetration; and conduct training programs in international trade practices, inspection techniques and exhibitions mounting.
(7) Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines. This Center shall provide product identification, research, and development services to the private sector; conduct seminars and workshops on product design and development; set up design exhibitions; publish product design related materials; and conduct continuing research on product and product packaging design trends and processing technologies.