DTI exec: Asean finalizing circular economy framework for growth


THE Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) economic community (AEC) is finalizing the framework of the circular economy for the regional bloc in a bid to promote sustainable growth, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

The Trade department reported in a statement it issued last Sunday that the Asean senior economic officials recently had their third meeting to tackle Covid-19 recovery plan, with the Philippines represented by Trade Assistant Secretary Allan B. Gepty.

“We support the finalization of the Framework on Circular Economy as this will guide AEC work on Sustainable Development, support cross-pillar cooperation and serve as a building block to Asean Post-2025 Work,” Gepty was quoted in the statement as saying.

The said framework identifies key strategic priorities in support of Asean’s agenda on circular economy, incorporating the region’s initiative in economic resiliency, resource efficiency and sustainable growth.

The framework is aimed to be adopted by the 20th AEC Council, which is expected to meet in October.

For the Philippines, the House Committee on Economic Affairs is currently tackling House Bill 7609, also known as the “An Act to Promote Circular Economy and a Whole-of-Nation Transition towards a Sustainable Future.”

The bill seeks to develop green markets through measures that promote circular economy and sustainable consumption; push for the use of permaculture in urban and rural development; and facilitate sustainable recovery amid the pandemic.

The bill covers producers and consumers engaged in the value chains of all goods, products, services and processes contributing to the economy.

The Asean member states recently completed the launch of the Asean Access. It is a one-stop business information platform for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) seeking to expand their market within and outside the region.

The bloc also developed a roadmap and action plan on smart manufacturing, in addition to creation of the Asean Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) support unit, which is tasked to further the implementation of said initiatives.

“The Philippines welcomes the completion of key economic initiatives under the ACRF in support of accelerating Asean’s recovery efforts from the Covid-19 pandemic. We are confident that this momentum would also allow us to further our work, such as in finalizing the ‘Guidelines on MSME Crisis and Disaster Resilience’ by end of the year,” Gepty said.

The 53rd Asean Economic Ministers’ Meeting is scheduled in September.

The DTI earlier said it was keen on the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as this will enhance the participation of MSMEs in global value chains, including the Asean bloc.

One of the biggest economic cooperation, RCEP was signed by 10 Asean member states and five Asean free trade agreement partners, including Australia, China, Japan, Korea and New Zealand in November last year.

The RCEP region accounts for 29 percent or $25.8 trillion of the global gross domestic product, 30 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent ($12.7 trillion) of global trade in goods and services, DTI noted.

The trade deal is aimed to be implemented by January next year.

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