An official website of the European Union. See all European Institutions
Manila, 12 April 2019 - The private sector in the Philippines has been encouraged to take advantage of the ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST) to address intra-ASEAN cross-border trading problems, and enable companies to fully benefit from the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the free movement of goods and services across ASEAN.
ASSIST is a free online facility (https://assist.asean.org), developed by ASEAN with the financial support of the European Union under the ARISE Plus programme. It allows businesses to lodge e-complaints directly with ASEAN Member State Governments when they encounter exporting problems to other ASEAN countries.
“Trade facilitation and regulatory transparency are the drivers for ASEAN regional economic integration”, stated Ambassador Francisco Fontan of the EU Mission to ASEAN ahead of a series of outreach events, organised by the EU, for government and private sector representatives in Vientiane, Naypyidaw, Bangkok, Jakarta, Singapore, Manila and Ha Noi. These two-day workshops aim at training the government authorities in ASEAN Member States and sensitise the private sector.
The ASSIST mechanics are simple, cost-effective and meant to provide complainants with solutions to their problems within 60 days. Confidentiality and anonymity are guaranteed, if needed be. Thanks to ASSIST, the private sector will be able to better cooperate with ASEAN Member States in identifying and addressing Non-Tariff Measures, including measures affecting quantities traded and prices, and aiming at removing Non-Tariff-Barriers within the region.
During the Outreach Event in Manila, Mr Maurizio Cellini, First Counsellor, Trade and Economic Section, EU Delegation to the Philippines said that “ASSIST is designed for the private sector and we consider it an instrument to facilitate the growth of intra-ASEAN trade. It is also a key tool for businesses to engage with ASEAN governments and resolve cross-border trade problems through a simple procedure. We encourage the Philippines business community to take full advantage of this free online tool”.
This two-day event in Manila aimed at training Government officials, the Focal Point for ASSIST Trade in Services (i.e., the Department of Trade and Industry) and other relevant authorities (i.e., Ministries and agencies with competence on trade in services) to manage future ASSIST cases.
On the last day, the event also sensitised the representatives of the Philippines’ private sector, including the Philippines’ Business Advisory Council and its affiliated trade associations, and the EuroCham in the Philippines.
About ASSIST and ARISE Plus
ASSIST is an ASEAN trade facilitation initiative under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, it is supported by the EU under its ARISE Plus programme. ASSIST has been operating for Trade in Goods cases since 2015. It is being extended to Trade in Services from 1 May 2019. Other EU supported initiatives under ARISE Plus include the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR, available at https://atr.asean.org) and the ASEAN Customs and Transit System (ACTS, available at https://acts.asean.org/), which all cater to the private sector.
For more information, please contact:
ASSIST Focal Point in the Philippines
Ms. Charmaine De Jesus
Department of Trade and Industry
4/F DTI International Building
375 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue
Makati City 1200, The Philippines
ARISE Plus Programme
70A Jl. Sisingamangaraja
Jakarta 12110, Indonesia
Tel: +62 (0)21-7262991 ext. 0852