Dili, Timor-Leste - The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) successfully represented the Philippines, alongside its four (4)-member delegation led by the different offices and attached agencies of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), at the ASEAN Economic Community Fact-Finding Mission (AEC-FFM) held in Dili, Timor Leste, last June 17 to 23, 2022.
Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) leaders of all ASEAN Member States (AMS) and representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat were welcomed to conduct the said endeavor, which aims to verify the readiness of the Timor Leste to meet or comply with AEC commitments, as well as to gain further insight on Timor Leste’s interest to join ASEAN from the economic perspective.
As the Philippines' lead agency on regulatory laws and policies governing professional services, and given that Timor-Leste possesses a market opportunity for professional and skilled workers, the PRC's participation in this endeavor is critical for the country to familiarize itself with Timor-Leste's regime and identify opportunities for Filipino professionals to Timor-Leste. It may also serve as an avenue to maximize engagement with Timor-Leste, particularly on exploratory missions.
Subsequently, the PRC is collaborating with the DTI and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on pursuing an agreement specific to professionals, which is indeed an opportune time for the Philippines to provide its expertise in this area of regulations and licensing of professionals, at the same time create an avenue to establish a reciprocity arrangement for Timor-Leste to continue promoting the Philippines as an educational hub and for later training and practice. While, the Philippines can maximize this opportunity to promote trade in professional services in Timor-Leste, by having access and for greater mobility of Filipino professionals in the Southeast Asian Region.
As an initial step, the PRC, through International Negotiations and Commitment Division (ICND) under the IAO, has called for a meeting with DTI through the Bureau of International Trade Relations (BITR), Philippine Trade Investment Center (PTIC) – Jakarta to discuss the arrangements for the ongoing collaboration.