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Economic Growth and Trade

Image of two farmers cleaning organically-grown bananas for export at their farm in Mindanao, Philippines.
Members of the Tupi Balangon Farmer’s Association, who were trained in good agricultural practices by USAID, sort and pack organically-grown bananas for export at their farm in Tupi, South Cotabato Province, Mindanao.

USAID’s economic growth activities promote trade and investment; greater competition; increased transparency; improved fiscal policy and management; infrastructure development; agricultural productivity and microfinance.

USAID supports economic reforms that focus on sustaining good fiscal-sector performance and removing barriers to investment and competition. Technical assistance focuses on priority areas such as: reforming policies, regulations and administrative practices affecting international trade and investment; reducing the cost of doing business; lowering barriers to entry and improving overall competitiveness. USAID supports civil society engagement and participation to improve the transparency of the national budget process and assist national government efforts to improve its revenue performance.

The Agency continues to provide support national and local government efforts to improve the business environment by reducing the processing time, steps, and cost in obtaining business permits. The U.S. Government assists targeted cities in establishing minimum standards in processing of permits and licenses including one-time payment and assessment and the use of a single application form. USAID is also assisting the streamlining of the administrative process in obtaining title for residential property. This brings more land into the formal market, reduces transactions cost associated with land transactions and improves access to credit with the increased availability of land-based collateral.

In Mindanao, USAID promotes economic development through infrastructure projects (ports, roads, warehouses, community centers, boat landings, water systems and trading centers) and improved agribusiness competitiveness and the expanded export of targeted commodities, particularly fruits, vegetables and marine products.

In agriculture, USAID is funding research to promote new technologies that will safeguard the local food supply and increase farmers’ incomes. In microfinance, USAID is helping over 100 banks profitably provide loans and deposit services for small entrepreneurs using microfinance best practices and innovative technologies such as mobile phones.

USAID is also partnering with the Philippine public and private sectors to improve the country’s infrastructure, including road networks, air transport, air and sea ports and the inter-island shipping network in an effort to lower logistics costs that inhibit trade and commerce. USAID is helping promote private-sector investment in key national infrastructure projects and in growth hubs such as Subic and Clark.

Last updated: April 02, 2014

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