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The Role Of The Private Sector In Coconut Trade And Marketing

The essence of private sector  involvement, in coconut trade and marketing is better understood by a treatment on; (1) the manner by which the private sector in organized ; (2) the mechanics  by which sectoral interests are dealt with; (3) the im pact of private sector services on producers and the national economy; and (4) national policies affecting private sector operations. In the Philippines, for instance , the coconut industry's private  sector  is organized  under an umbrella organization known as the United Coconut Associations of the  Philippines (UCAP), which is composed of ten (10) sectors. The producers of coconut are linked with other sectors because of membership in UCAP.Sellers (RP exporters) are linked with buyers(foreign importers) in transactions following rules set by the NIOP in th e case of th e US and FOSFA International, in the case of Europe. In m any instances, interm ediaries (i.e. brokers) play a most effective role in linking buyers and sellers. Since raw materials are indigenous, exporters of coconut products in the Philippines contribute  substantially  to the country’s foreign  exchange earnings, far more than  exporters  of products  like garments, electronics, etc. where raw materials are mostly imported. The imposition of the Value Added Tax in the Philippines and ASEAN agreements to reduce import duties are policies  that  have negative  effects  on private sector concerns. The crux of the matter is: Should private sector involvement in the coconut trade and m arketing be completely  private , without government controls  whatsoever? We say that government should complement, and not compete  nor intervene with private sector efforts to advance the coconut industry’s interest.

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