21st Meeting of AMEICC Working Group on Chemical Industry (WG-CI)

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The Philippines hosted the 21st Meeting of AMEICC Working Group on Chemical Industry (WG-CI) held on 28th & 29th of April 2016 at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City. Prior to the said event, the 2nd Meeting of the Technical Working Group on the ASEAN-Japan Chemical Safety Database (AJCSD) was held on the 27th of April.

Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo, Board Of Investments (BOI) Managing Head welcomed the delegates of the ASEAN Member States (AMSs) and Japan and believed that this gathering of ASEAN and Japan Chemical Industry stakeholders is always a good opportunity to share developments, initiatives, trends in the industry and in the economies, that contribute to the development of a stronger chemicals sector- a partnership that allows us all to benefit.

He also shared the good news that the Philippine economy maintains its strong and upward performance. According to Usec. Rodolfo, for the 4th quarter of 2015, the Philippines grew by 6.3% in terms of GDP, wherein the industry expanded by 6.8%, contributing 2.3% points to the total GDP growth. Manufacturing grew its fastest pace in the 4th quarter for 2015, with a 6.6 percentage expansion. Chemicals and chemical product, which maintained four (4) consecutive quarters of double-digit growth, was the top contributor to growth as it sped by 16.5% from 4.9% a year ago.

Over the last decade, global chemical sales have more than doubled to US$5.2 trillion (source: PWC website) which expanded at an average rate of 26% over the period. With the chemical industry being one of the major contributors to the Philippine economy, we continue to support its growth and its vision and goals, as conveyed in its Chemicals Masterplan added Usec. Rodolfo.

In the Meeting, a representative from Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) – Japan reported on the global current state of petrochemical industry which includes supply and demand trends for petrochemical products. On the other hand, ASEAN Member States provided a brief overview of the current status of their chemical industry and updates on the chemical safety management related activities such as development of GHS, and their other efforts for achieving World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) 2020 goal.

The Singapore Chemical Industry Council (SCIC) presented the concept and framework of the Regulatory Cooperation, a project in cooperation with the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA) and supported by the chemical industry association from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The National Institute of Testing and Evaluation (NITE) – Japan also announced the full operational version of the AJCSD.

The two-day Meeting attended by delegates from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan was co-chaired by Mr. Tadashi Mogi, Director, Chemicals Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau, METI and Ms. Ma. Corazon Halili- Dichosa, Executive Director, BOI.