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ASEAN upholds commitment to help inclusive businesses achieve greater impact

The 4th ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit’s theme ‘Building Inclusive Businesses to Build Back Better’ is in line with this year’s ASEAN Chairmanship theme ‘We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper’ and reflects the potential of the public and private sector’s innovative models to address challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) Pengiran Hajah Zety Sufina binti Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Sani said this in her opening remarks at the virtual summit last Wednesday.

“As a result of efforts to promote inclusive business at a national level, ASEAN member states are actively engaging in inclusive business policy development and capacity building to better understand the inclusive business concept and approaches among its policy makers and businesses,” she said.

Pengiran Hajah Zety also shared the progress of inclusive business in Brunei Darussalam.

Though poverty in the Sultanate is marginal, there has been a growing trend of social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility initiatives that incorporate elements of inclusive business in addressing social challenges such as unemployment and assisting vulnerable groups including low-income families and single mothers.

The one-day summit showcased emerging policy frameworks, strategies, and success stories of inclusive businesses across the region.

Date of Release: 26 September 2021

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Registered FDI up in nine months despite pandemic: conference

Despite COVID-19, foreign investors’ new capital registered in Vietnam reached 22.15 billion USD in the first nine months, up 4.4 percent compared to the same period last year, as heard at the Government Portal’s online conference held on September 27 with the participation of a number of localities housing foreign direct investment (FDI) projects.
At the event, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc said the figures showed the Vietnamese Government’s special attention to investors and business climate improvement.
The Government has listened to investors’ proposals and tasked ministries, localities and sectors involved with tackling their difficulties, she added.
Representatives of participating FDI firms said they believe in Vietnam’s business climate and hoped the authorities to continue prioritising vaccinations for workers, opening the market for production recovery, and simplifying administrative procedures.
Choi Joo Ho, President of Samsung Vietnam, stated Samsung will not change its investment strategy in Vietnam.
In time to come, Samsung will continue to expand production and invest in equipment in its six factories operating in the nation, while upgrading and investing more in research and development to make Samsung Vietnam a major production base in the world, he added. Samsung Vietnam is building a 220 million USD R&D centre in Hanoi.
Binu Jacob, CEO/Managing Director of Nestlé Vietnam, said the group has decided to invest 132 million USD in building a new plant in southern Dong Nai province over the next two years in a bid to turn Vietnam Nestlé's production centre in Asia and Oceania.
Vice Chairwoman of the Dong Nai People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Hoang pledged the local authorities’ support for enterprises and their production recovery.
Dong Nai will further create a favourable environment for FDI firms to invest in the southern locality, she affirmed.

Source: VNA

Brunei Fertilizer Industries to export urea through Muara Port

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Brunei Fertilizer Industries (BFI) on Monday signed an agreement with Muara Port Company (MPC) that will allow the fertilizer manufacturer to export granular urea through the country’s biggest marine port.

With BFI eyeing exports of granular urea to far-off markets such as India, Australia, Latin America and the United States, MPC, the operator of Muara port, is best positioned to handle the fertilizer cargoes, BFI said in a press release.

MPC recently began preliminary expansion works for Muara port that will double the size and capacity of Brunei’s main container terminal by 2023.

Under the agreement, MPC will provide BFI with the logistics of transporting urea from Sungai Liang Industrial Park to Muara Port, which can accommodate vessels of up to 40,000 deadweight tonnage to enable BFI to reach remote customers.

MPC will also take over operations of BFI’s terminal in Sungai Liang Industrial Park, which can accommodate smaller vessels up to 9,000 deadweight tonnage.

Date of Release: 7 September 2021

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HM: China remains ASEAN’s biggest trade partner amid pandemic

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — China maintained its position as ASEAN’s top trading partner despite the ongoing pandemic that has disrupted economic activities all over the world, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah said on Friday.

In his titah at the virtual opening ceremony of the 18th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, China, His Majesty said ASEAN and China registered an increase in total merchandise trade in 2020.

This underscored the strong economic ties and business linkages that characterised the long-standing relationship between ASEAN and China, he added.

Trade between China and ASEAN reached US$684.6 billion last year.

China has been the regional bloc’s largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years. As of June this year, mutual investment between China and ASEAN exceeded US$310 billion.

Date of Release: 11 September 2021

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IMF encourages Brunei to further boost economic diversification

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Directors encouraged Brunei Darussalam authorities to continue to build on efforts to diversify the economy, further attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and enhance human capital and improve private employment.

They welcomed the policy priorities of the recently released Economic Blueprint, and highlighted the importance of accelerating digital and green growth to foster job creation and enhance resilience.

This was highlighted in a report when IMF Executive Board concluded 2021 Article IV Consultation with Brunei Darussalam recently.

Executive Directors also commended the authorities for the strong, timely and multi-pronged policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated decline in oil and gas prices. Noting the uncertain outlook, with risks skewed to the downside, the executive directors stressed the need to maintain supportive policies until recovery is on a firm path. They also underscored the importance of continued reforms to support economic transformation, strengthen resilience, and foster green, digital, and inclusive growth.

Date of Release: 28 September 2021

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Logistics crucial in regional economic integration

The logistics sector plays a pivotal role for ASEAN integration into regional and global value chains which accounts for about five per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the region, said Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah at the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) meeting yesterday.

In view of the sector’s significant role in fostering economic development, the minister added that it is important to ensure a well-developed and efficient logistics network, due to its impact on the economic activities, trade cost competitiveness and supply chain connectivity.

“We were pleased to work with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and ASEAN Secretariat in embarking this project three years ago, as part of the ASEAN Competition Action Plan (ACAP) 2016-2025, towards a more pro-competitive regulations and elimination of competition distortions, to enhance market efficiencies,” he said.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew also pointed out that five sectors – transport by road, inland waterway and maritime, freight forwarding, warehousing, small package delivery services and value-added services are the key for the development of the enterprise sector, particularly the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and new start-ups, which can generate economic growth and employment.

An assessment of the impact of state-owned enterprises on competition entitled OECD Competitive Neutrality Reviews: Small-Package Delivery Services in ASEAN was also carried out by the OECD, which has become more relevant, due to the rapid growth of e-commerce amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Date of Release: 10 September 2021

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‘Joint declaration will go long way in pursuing goal of energy security’

The Bandar Seri Begawan Joint Declaration of the 39th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) on Energy Security and Energy Transition, which we will seek to adopt, will go a long way in pursuing our goal of energy security, while transitioning our diverse energy systems towards lower-emissions to achieve access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, said Minister of Energy Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein.

He said this while officiating and chairing the 39th AMEM yesterday.

The virtual meeting was vice-chaired by Cambodian Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem and attended by the Deputy Minister of Energy as head of delegation for Brunei Darussalam, Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw.

During the meeting, Brunei Darussalam with the other ASEAN member countries agreed on the adaptation of the Bandar Seri Begawan Joint Declaration of the 39th ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting on Energy Security and Energy Transition as part of the country’s ASEAN Chairmanship five deliverables for 2021.

Among the objectives of the declaration is to shape the regional energy outlook even beyond 2025, in ensuring future energy security and accelerating the low-carbon energy transition towards dynamic and sustainable regional economic community.

Date of Release: 16 September 2021

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UN study: COVID-19 reveals vulnerabilities of PH firms, need to capacitate industry

The COVID-19 crisis has severely disrupted the Philippine economy and labor market, and highlighted the urgent need for policies that will increase the capacity of pandemichit sectors and firms to create jobs for sustainable and inclusive growth, according to a new United Nations (UN) Philippines study. The pandemic has also revealed the vulnerabilities of sectors and firms that are dependent on foreign trade and intermediates, said the study, as it called for political will and collective action to implement necessary reforms. The paper is a joint research project of the UN Philippines with the International Labour Organization, United Nations Development Programme, and United Nations Industrial Development Organization that was released earlier this month. The report further said that policy decisions in the Philippines have not responded to evolving challenges but rather have continued to produce weak industrial competitiveness and lack of productive employment, which keeps investments and demand for skills low. “These feed the vicious cycle that makes industrial diversification, upgrading and deep structural transformation increasingly difficult over time,” said the report. It said intensifying the capacity of the Philippine economy to create productive employment is now a matter of urgency, with a working-age population of around 75 million and around 600,000 net additional workers entering the labor force each year. However, it also found that “developing countries such as the Philippines are particularly handicapped by their weak institutions and their dependence on the continued openness of the world economy for their own economic growth.” The report went on to identify main trends that characterize the current state of the Philippine industry and labor market. One is the weakening competitiveness of Philippine manufacturing and the shrinking number of exporting firms over the last two decades. “The Philippines has also become more of a market of consumer goods rather than a hub of manufacturing exports due to the combination of a liberal trading regime and a large domestic market with increasing purchasing power boosted by the robust flow of remittances. For Filipino firms, this entails behaving like exporters who must compete with foreign businesses to survive in the domestic market,” the report said. Another trend is the weakening integration of the Philippine industrial base through the years, which constrains firms from domestically sourcing their inputs in the most costefficient manner. “While agriculture has become a more important source of input for industry and services, the role of these sectors for agriculture production has diminished. Based on the extent of transactions within sectors, manufacturing seems to have also become less integrated as indicated by the reduced intensity of sourcing within sub-sectors,” the paper said. The third trend is that while the Philippines has increased the sophistication of its exports through its participation in global value chains (GVCs), it has languished in low value-added segments of production. The country in general demonstrates a comparative advantage in labor-intensive, and thus lower-value export goods, and a comparative disadvantage in higher-value, capital-intensive imports. Another finding is that industrial catch-up and diversification towards more complex products is becoming increasingly difficult, slowing down the pace of economic diversification. The Philippines did diversify from 2003 to 2018 but this added just 3% to export revenues, contributing $33 to the country’s income per capita in 2018. In comparison, Vietnam added 48 new products and $1,015 to its per capita income, and 35% to total exports during the same 15-year period. “This suggests that while the Philippines has diversified, the volume of its new products has not been big enough to substantially contribute to overall growth,” said the research. The last notable trend is that the Philippine labor market is characterized by stagnant growth in real wages, persistent gender disparities, low employment growth and poor quality of work. The report said: “The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the weaknesses of economic, health, social and political systems. In so doing, however, it has also presented extraordinary opportunities to muster the political will and collective action towards necessary fundamental reforms.” It recommends putting at the top of the policy agenda measures that will increase agricultural productivity and resilience, as well as address the vulnerability of millions of the working poor, daily wage workers, youth and other vulnerable groups. It further said that the COVID-19 economic stimulus package for local firms is a potential catalyst for inclusive growth if proper focus is given to the recovery of small and medium enterprises. The stimulus package, it added, could have an even lasting impact on inclusive growth if it is used to institutionalize reforms particularly in credit access, formalization, digitization and innovation. It could also be used to incentivize industrial linkages and the transition towards green technologies and products. At the same time, the report described how other countries successfully implemented industrial policies for catch-up industrial growth, largely by capacitating the domestic industry. “Invariably anchored on bold and long-terms targets to build domestic industrial base, successful countries extended strict rules to induce GVCs or large companies to integrate local firms in their input-sourcing strategies with complementary investment in upskilling the workforce and supporting research institutes. Tax breaks and subsidies are combined with pragmatic strategies to deliver necessary skills, finance and infrastructure to producers and to build socio-political consensus. A COVID-19 economic package for local firms can take place under a fully coordinated industrial package that contributes to long-lasting development impact.”

Borderless entrepreneurship reshaping ASEAN business landscape

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated borderless entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia, a trend seen to continue to grow and impact the region, and to offer enterprises opportunities to extend their business beyond borders, according to regional experts.

“There is a bright future in borderless entrepreneurship. Digital is now the way to do business and there is no turning back,” said Laurent Tam Nguyen, co-founder and general manager of Digital Mekong in Vietnam, a virtual market agency addressing the need for an entrepreneurship freelancer market in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Nguyen was one of the speakers at a recent webinar on borderless entrepreneurship organized by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
Citing a survey from global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, Nguyen said COVID-19 has accelerated the digitalization of companies in the Asia-Pacific region by about four years.

Even industries that are highly traditional and technology-averse are now joining the bandwagon and finding that the digital approach can also work for them, he added.

As the trend of borderless entrepreneurship is quickly escalating, he emphasized the soft skills that all entrepreneurs should have, including resilience, adaptiveness, empathy, and transparency in managing teams and building businesses.

Haewon Rah, engagement manager at Techstars, a global startup accelerator based in South Korea, pointed out that investors will be more likely to support and invest in the companies that are interested to scale up their business globally.

But she acknowledged that going global is neither easy nor simple as there are differences in regulations, culture and behavior that an entrepreneur needs to become aware of.

She shared two important factors critical to successful borderless entrepreneurship: the ability to utilize networks and the willingness to create small wins.

Haewon said enterprises must actively network to gain knowledge of how businesses in the region work, adding that even group chats are a form of networking that can yield results down the line.

Creating small wins is about becoming aware that immediate, big achievements (and profit) are likely not realizable early on, and it is wise to take small but steady steps toward reaching one’s goals. Haewon suggested working in the local area first while at the same time trying to build a network and find someone who can help the business expand into a new location.

Jirut Wattom, technology strategy manager at global accelator Sprint in Thailand, echoed Haewon, saying the pandemic provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to scale up their business faster as they can mobilize and operate their teams to do business locally while also accessing global markets.

For Jirut, although physical interaction will remain important, digitalization has been helping many regional enterprises to compete with their counterparts around the world. He highlighted how the borderless entrepreneurship ecosystem has given entrepreneurs the advantage of high exposure to clients or talents from various cultures and backgrounds. 

During the Q&A session, the speakers discussed how entrepreneurs can address the challenge of differing national regulations by being creative and agile as well as learning in-depth about the entrepreneurship ecosystem in other countries and the region.

Moreover, as digitalization has now reduced the cost of testing products, they encouraged entrepreneurs to always conduct market testing before launching their expansion bid.

Lastly, joining startup support programs or accelerator programs is also another notable way to expand networks and discover opportunities for scaling up, they said.


APEC business travel card goes digital

Business travellers engaged in selling goods or services and investments between Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies will experience streamlined entry to participating economies.

 

This, as the APEC business travel card (ABTC) transitions from physical to virtual cards using the new mobile application that will provide real-time updates/approvals by economies using their application status.

 

“As the virtual card will replace the current physical cards, they are considered as good as the physical card when presented to the immigration authorities at points of entry in APEC member countries,” Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) acting Asst. Secretary Senen Mangalile informed Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. in a letter.

 

The ABTC provides business people streamlined entry to participating economies through a simple pre-clearance system that allows them to obtain a multiple short-term entry to participating APEC economies through a single application.

 

The virtual ABTC has been created for the convenience of approved cardholders and will bring the ABTC scheme into the modern and digitized era of global travel. It is free to download and accessible for those applicants who have been approved for an ABTC.

 

“It provides cardholders from fully participating member economies with a more secure, efficient, convenient and user-friendly service.

 

The virtual ABTC automatically updates as a cardholder opens or refreshes their smart device ‘app’, ensuring all relevant information is up-to-date and readily available for the cardholder’s travel,” according to the APEC Business Mobility Group.

 

Participating economies in the ABTC scheme currently includes Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

 

Each economy determines its own timeline to transition to the virtual ABTC for its cardholders.

 

In line with this, Mangalile requested the exporters’ group to provide the department with a list of ABTC cardholders among its members with their respective personal email addresses.

 

“The information is needed so that they could be provided with access or log-in credentials to the mobile application,” he said.

 

Mangalile also asked the PHILEXPORT to inform its members who are ABTC holders about the new process, adding that the department will provide a user manual and frequently asked questions once APEC has finalized them.

PH-flag container ship to sail on historic trip to US

Following appeals from local exporters for more vessel space, the first ever Philippine-flag container ship is set to embark on its maiden international voyage, carrying export containers to the United States.

 

Iris Logistics Inc., a subsidiary of logistics company Royal Cargo, Inc., announced it will hold a virtual maiden voyage ceremony on September 20 to launch its container ship M/V Iris Paoay as she sails to the US.

 

The news is welcome development for struggling exporters, who in a July 2021 survey conducted by the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) said the lack of space on international shipping lines is their top shipping challenge today.

 

In preparation for the container ship’s landmark US voyage, the Bureau of Customs Port of Manila (BOC POM) met virtually with Iris Logistics officials on September 14, 2021.

 

During the meeting, Iris Logistics requested assistance from the agency for the seamless interface between BOC POM and M/V Iris Paoay, which has a carrying capacity of 1,118 twenty-foot equivalent units of containers.

 

District Collector Michael Angelo Vargas assured the smooth passage of the containerized vessel that will be carrying export- and import-laden containers to and from the US, and invited the cargo company for a walk-through to become familiarized with the bureau’s processes, BOC said in a release.

 

“The Port of Manila is ready to hit the ground running. Likewise this would be a big boost for BOC Port of Manila to process goods coming from the USA as currently the bulk of goods that come in POM are from China and the ASEAN region,” Vargas added.

In a related development, Davao-based Reefer Express Line Filipinas, Inc. also announced the start of a monthly service this month from Mindanao to the US to help manufacturers facing global shipping problems.

 

According to an email provided to Dr. Enrico Basilio, Chairman of the Networking Committee on Transportation and Logistics (NCTL) of the Export Development Council, one of the two ships, named M/V Cool Spirit, will ply the General Santos City-US route, as disclosed in the email by Felix Ishizuka of Reefer Express Line. It has a capacity of about 560 TEUs or 5,600 pallets position or 600 TEUs ondeck capacity. It is set to arrive at the Port of Philadelphia on September 30.

Meanwhile, another of its vessel can carry 700 TEUs capacity and will start sail to the US West Coast from Davao through Thailand on October 5.

 

Basilio shared the information with PHILEXPORT which had been working with the NCTL and Royal Cargo to respond to calls from shippers for relief from the capacity squeeze.

 

As part of the intervention, the three groups agreed to propose to government to allow domestic shipping lines to operate beyond domestic waters. Royal Cargo agreed to help by providing its ships to transport export cargoes to their ports of destination.

 

For the longer term, they are proposing the following:

 

·         Passage of the Philippine Ship Registry Act which would enable Philippine flag vessels to go international

·         Removal of distinction between "coastwise license" and "international license" for Philippine-flagged ships

·         Securing of government imports through FOB (freight costs are separate from the cargo value of imports) to enable Philippine-flagged ships to participate in the carriage of government cargo

·         Modification and amendment of MARINA Memorandum Circular No. OS-2019-02 to allow Philippine-registered vessels to concurrently be engaged in domestic and international trade

 

Issues with supply chain disruptions, not just in the Philippines but around the world, have been intensifying, the result of factors such as a surge in global demand, the early resumption of manufacturing in China, port congestion, and the reduction of capacity by carriers in response to lockdowns.

 

This has led to local shippers being unable to book slots on international container liners and having to face record-high freight rates, which are causing shipment delays and mounting losses for exporters and importers.

 

PHILEXPORT president Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr. earlier said that while these are global issues beyond anyone’s control, the government and private sector must still work closely together to effectively address them.

Adoption of electronic sanitary and phytosanitary certificates in Asia key to inclusive growth

Business and economic experts sounded an urgent call for emerging economies in Asia

to adopt electronic sanitary and phytosanitary certificates (SPS e-certs) to unlock the

many benefits of cross-border paperless trade in food and agricultural products.

 

Ronald Antonio Butiong, chief of regional cooperation and integration for sustainable

development at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said in a recent webinar that

digitalizing trade facilitation procedures is necessary for more inclusive trade and

development.

 

This is more so in agriculture, on which many developing economies in the region

depend.

 

Butiong explained: “Cross-border production networks in Asia and the Pacific are

particularly strong in primary goods, including agriculture. In 2019, for instance, Asia’s

global value chain participation rate was about 87% of its gross exports in the primary

sector, higher than all other sectors, and about 70% of this comes from trade within

Asia.”

 

Switching to SPS e-certs will benefit our economies, enhance trade, and promote rural

employment and the participation of small businesses, he added.

 

He urged continued support for trade facilitation through enhancing digitalization,

harmonizing policies, and building capacity in customs systems, largely by acquiring the

needed technology and streamlining policies and procedures while promoting

interoperability of ICT systems.

 

He expressed hope that SPS e-certs will become a reality, noting that “this is a topic

that requires urgent action.”

 

Yann Duval, officer in charge of trade, investment and innovation at the United Nations

Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), said SPS e-

certs are among the documents being prioritized by countries implementing cross-

border paperless trade.

 

This, he said, means that SPS electronic certificates will be a key focus of discussions

when the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Paperless Trade in

Asia and the Pacific is implemented starting early next year.

 

The Agreement, a UN ESCAP treaty adopted in May 2016 to accelerate the

implementation of digital trade facilitation measures, entered into force on February 20,

2021.

 

It aims to promote cross-border paperless trade by enabling the exchange and mutual

recognition of trade-related data and documents in electronic form and by facilitating

interoperability among national and subregional single windows or other paperless trade

systems.

 

Melvin Spreij, head of the Secretariat of the Standards and Trade Development Facility

(STDF), at the same event noted that governments and industries are actively seeking

solutions to move goods across borders more quickly and efficiently in the wake of the

entry into force of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement and as

a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Spreij called for the increased use of electronic certification to facilitate safe trade in

food and agriculture products.

 

“Paperless sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) systems can improve traceability

throughout supply chains, cut trade times and costs, lower food waste, reduce

fraudulent certificates and build trust among trading partners,” he said.

 

Oswald Kuyler, managing director of digital standards initiative at the International

Chamber of Commerce (ICC), said paperless SPS systems offer enormous efficiency,

effectiveness and risk-reduction benefits.

 

When economies transition to digital trade, it will ensure people’s health and safety by

minimizing of physical contact, promote consumption of safe products, and solve the

trade finance gap for entrepreneurs trying to support their families, he said.

 

Finally, Hilde Kruse, senior officer at Codex Alimentarius Commission Secretariat for the

FAO/WHO Food Standards Program, disclosed that the Codex Committee on Food

Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) has developed a draft

guidance document on the paperless use of electronic certificates, including an

electronic version of the Generic Model Official Certificate.

 

“It was highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic had illustrated the importance of

paperless use of electronic certificates and the urgency to complete the revision of the

existing guidelines,” said Kruse.

 

“Furthermore, this work is according to the CODEX Strategic Plan 2020-2025, which

states that CODEX should address current, emerging and critical issues in a timely

manner.”

 

Following the virtual presentation of the draft guidance three months ago, the final

version will be presented to the Codex Alimentarius Commission for adoption when it

meets from November 8 to November 18 this year, she said.

 

The Commission is the global body that develops principles and guidelines for food

inspection and certification systems.

 

The Codex Alimentarius, or “Food Code,” is a collection of international standards,

guidelines and codes of practice to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair

practices in the food trade. Codex standards are used worldwide to harmonize national

food safety regulations and are recognized as the international reference point for food

safety.

 

When food producers and traders comply with Codex standards, consumers can trust

the safety and quality of the products they buy, and importers can have confidence that

the food they ordered will meet the specifications.