A Philippine coalition of agricultural industry groups has said the country’s restrictive measures on rice imports will remain effective until 2017.

The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) on January 22 cited World Trade Organisation (WTO) documents on the issue in a bid to create clarity on the issue.

Sinag noted that the Philippines has filed a request with the WTO to continue employing quantitative restrictions (QRs) on importation.

Sinag chair Rosendo So said six of the eight countries that have entered bilateral talks with the Philippines since March 2013 have already agreed to new terms for local QRs until 2017.

The countries involved are Australia, China, El Salvador, India, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

Based on this, foreign suppliers can ship into the Philippines at least 350,000 tonnes of rice yearly, according to Sinag.-VNA