Ermita, president of the Flat Glass Alliance of the Philippines Inc. (FGAPI) and of the Asahi Glass Philippines Inc. (AGPI), told reporters during its first general membership meeting and induction of officers that while total imports of glass have been reduced, imports from Vietnam also soared.
Imports of glass in the last quarter of 2003 went down by 22 percent from over 60 percent share largely due to the imposition of the provisional safeguard measure but imports from Vietnam now accounts for 15 percent of the total imports from only 3 percent.
Vietnam has two glass factories in joint venture with Japanese glass makers, Ermita said.
It could be recalled that former Trade and Industry Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II issued an order in September last year imposing provisional safeguard measure in the form of cash bond on imported glass imports after finding merit the complaint by the Japaneseowned AGPI.
The order imposed a provisional safeguard measure in the form of a cash bond amounting to P1,535 per metric ton on imported figured glass to protect the domestic industry but the order did not include glass imports from countries such as Vietnam, which account for a minimum share of 3 percent of total imports.
Roxas also ordered provisional safeguard measures in the form of cash bonds on all imported glass mirrors as well as clear and tinted float glass amounting to P3,560 per MT of framed and unframed glass mirros and P2,000 per MT on the importation of clear float glass and P2,650 per MT for imported tinted float glass.
Under the Common Effective Preferential Tariff scheme in ASEAN, tariffs on almost all manufactured products produced in the region were reduced to a range between zero and five percent early last year.