The Technical Assistance (TA) seeks to support the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Bureau of International Trade Relations (BITR) in understanding better the perspectives and considerations on new and emerging trade topics, many of which are at the intersection of trade and sustainable development issues (e.g., trade and gender, trade and environment, digital trade).
It is expected that this TA will help Philippine government officials gain a better understanding of such trade issues to help them develop and implement relevant and effective trade- and development-related policies.
The TA will include a comprehensive training needs assessment on technical issues on trade and sustainable development and negotiations, delivery of capacity-building sessions for trade negotiators and technical staff on trade topics identified in the assessment, development of model text agreements, and providing ad hoc advisory support to the BITR.
Problem being addressed by CTIF
This TA addresses the Philippines’ recognition of the evolving nature and scope of trade agreements and the importance of better understanding the perspectives on new and emerging trade areas to help them in their decisions and policy-making processes.
Beyond building the capacity of negotiators and trade focal points, the Philippines also hopes that this TA could result in them developing and implementing trade strategies that promote the further integration of local firms into the global supply networks in the context of their sustainable development goals and the Government’s other development targets and commitments.
Trade could be a means to achieve the SDGs if trade is inclusive and sustainable.
Building a government’s capacity to negotiate trade agreements and policies that are inclusive and sustainable can lead to relevant policies that create opportunities for firms and individuals, especially small businesses and women, to benefit from international trade, creating business growth and employment opportunities.
As a strong advocate for MSME development, the Philippines hopes that more inclusive trade policies will specifically contribute towards its aim of integrating more domestic firms, especially MSMEs, into the global production networks and value chains, in line with both the Philippine Development Plan and SDG indicator 9.3 (small-scale enterprises’ integration into value chains). In line with SDG 5 (gender equality), gender-sensitive trade policies are also aligned with the Philippines’ laws protecting women’s rights, including those that seek to support the growth of small-scale women entrepreneurs and provide equal access to employment, livelihood, and credit.