STI Manila briefing

The Hinrich Foundation, in collaboration with the Asia Society Philippines and the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), presented the Sustainable Trade Index (STI) on August 25, 2016 at the Shangri-La Makati.

The foundation commissioned the EIU to create the index to provide a comprehensive guide to encourage discussions among policy makers, business leaders and trade and economic experts on achieving sustainable trade.

NCC Co-Chair Guillermo “Bill” Luz hosted the event, which began with a welcome address from Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Asia Society Philippines’ Vice-Chair and Chief Operating Officer.

“We at the Asia Society are delighted to collaborate with the Hinrich Foundation and the Economist Intelligence Unit to bring the concept of Sustainable Trade Index Manila. We believe this is an excellent way for us in the private sector, as well as policy advisors and the academe to ensure that our views on the Philippines’ trading capacity are constantly evolving and in line with universally acceptable standards,” he said.

Hinrich Foundation Founder Merle A. Hinrich then took the stage to introduce and give a background on the index. “The whole idea of creating the index was about better communicating and understanding the characteristics of sustainable trade for the benefit of the government, the businesses and the general public,” he said.

Economist Intelligence Unit Senior Editor Chris Clague presented the methodology and results of the index, which measures the performance of 19 Asian economies and the US as a benchmark. Each is ranked based on economic, social and environmental factors.

Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow Stephen Olson followed suit, talking about the index’s implications on policies. “The challenge is to think strategically about trade, while avoiding the temptation of short-term pay-off that can damage trade sustainability over the longer term,” he said.

Nearly 100 guests from the government, industry, academia and trade organizations attended the said luncheon. Among them:

  • Jikyeong Kang (President, Asian Institute of Management)
  • Benedicto Yujuico (Chairman, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
  • Ambassador Aruni Ranaraja (Sri Lankan Embassy)
  • Senen Perlada (Director, Department of Trade and Industry – Export Marketing Bureau)
  • Emerico De Guzman (Co-Chair, People Management Association of the Philippines)
  • Rick Santos (President, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines)
  • Hans Sicat (President, Philippine Stock Exchange)
  • Emmanuel Bonoan (Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, KPMG International)
  • Carlos “Charlie” Rufino (President, The Net Group)

The Sustainable Trade Index was launched in Hong Kong on April, followed by a talk in Hanoi regarding Vietnam’s index performance and the possible legal reforms in the context of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Click here to find out more about the Index.
A download of the full report with infographics, workbook and countries overview is also available.[/vc_column_text]

About the author – Ian Benetua


Ian Benetua is a copy editor for the ODCS, Hinrich Foundation. She studied AB Journalism at the Manila Times College and has worked for several print and online publications in the Philippines.

She has a passion for photography, travel and all forms of culinary pursuits.