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Officers and staff of the Philippine Mission to the WTO in Geneva sing the National Anthem in commemoration of the 122th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence (12 June 2020)

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H.E. Ambassador Manuel A.J. Teehankee, Philippine Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization, delivering the Independence Day message of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

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(L-R): Committee on Budget, Finance and Administration - H.E. Mr. Dagfinn SØRLI (Norway); Committee on Balance-of-Payments Restrictions – H.E. Miss Cheryl K. SPENCER (Jamaica); Committee on Trade and Development – H.E. Mr. Chad BLACKMAN (Barbados); Committee on Trade Facilitation H.E. Mohammad Qurban HAQJO (Afghanistan); Dispute Settlement Body – H.E. Dr. David WALKER (New Zealand); General Council – H.E. Ms. Sunanta KANGVALKULKIJ (Thailand); Trade Policy Review Body – H.E. Mr. Manuel A.J. TEEHANKEE (Philippines); Council for Trade in Goods  H.E. Mr. José Luís CANCELA GÓMEZ (Uruguay); Committee on Trade and Environment – Mr. Jean-Marie PAUGAM (France); Committee on Agriculture  Ms. Christiane Daleiden Distefano (Luxembourg); Council for TRIPS  H.E. Mr. Lundeg PUREVSUREN (Mongolia); Working Group on Trade and Transfer of Technology  H.E. Dr. Rashidi SAID (Malaysia)

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06 May 2019, GENEVA – Ambassador Manuel A. J. Teehankee, Philippine Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization, formally delivered to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo the request of the Philippine government to become an observer in the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) under the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

The Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) is the main WTO agreement that provides the framework for the conduct of international trade in government procurement among 47 WTO Members that signed the GPA. 

As a non-party to the GPA, the Philippines has applied for observership status in the WTO GPA Committee. If approved, the Philippines will be able to participate in the discussions in the Committee, gain access to relevant information, and become acquainted with the operation and administration of the Agreement, without undertaking any obligations. 

Through its participation as observer in the GPA, the Philippines looks to gain a better understanding of the GPA and further promote the efficient and effective management of public resources and good governance in national procurement systems.

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(Counterclockwise from top-left: Amb. Teehankee delivering his welcome remarks; WTO DDG Brauner delivering his brief remarks; Audience listening intently to Dr. Sunico’s introduction; Dr. Sunico performing the mini-concert)

14 JUNE 2019, GENEVA – Internationally-acclaimed Filipino artist, Dr. Raul Sunico, performed a mini-concert for an intimate group of music lovers in one of the historic rooms of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Headquarters.

In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Manuel A.J. Teehankee, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the WTO, thanked the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) for their cooperation in bringing this event to fruition. WTO Deputy Director-General Karl Brauner welcomed Dr. Sunico to the WTO and praised the musical prowess of Filipinos.

Before his performance, Dr. Sunico introduced his six-piece repertoire, which included pieces by Chopin, Schubert, Ravel, Liszt and Filipino composer, Francisco Buencamino. Dr. Sunico’s performance ended with a standing ovation, after which he conversed with the audience in a short question-and-answer session.

The said mini-concert was attended by several Permanent Representatives to the WTO, WTO Appellate Body Members, WTO Secretariat Members and other prominent music lovers based in Geneva. END.

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3 APRIL 2019, GENEVA – Ambassador Manuel A. J. Teehankee, Philippine Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization, chaired his first meeting as the new chairperson of the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) during the Trade Policy Review of Bangladesh, succeeding Ambassador Eloi Laourou of Benin.

The Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) is the WTO body that oversees the implementation of the Trade Policy Review Mechanism, which was created under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1989 to ensure transparency of Members’ trade policies and the smooth functioning of the multilateral trading system.

In his election statement, Ambassador Teehankee thanked the Members for entrusting him with the responsibility of chairing the TPRB, the third highest body in the WTO hierarchy.

Ambassador Teehankee chairs the TPRB during a milestone year in the history of the multilateral trading system, as the Members commemorate the 30th anniversary of Trade Policy Review Mechanism.

The new TPRB Chairperson committed to celebrate this milestone in November, when Members can look back on the contribution of the Trade Policy Review Mechanism to the multilateral trading system and exchange views and insights on enhancing and improving the system of review.