logo logo

PH-EU FTA negotiations could be fast-tracked – DTI chief

Panay News - 8 May 2024

PH-EU FTA negotiations could be fast-tracked – DTI chief

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual is optimistic that the negotiations for the Philippines-European Union Free Trade Agreement (PH-EU FTA) could be fast-tracked given the speed of the previous trade deal of the country with European countries.

During the 11th European-Philippines Business Dialogue in Makati City on Monday, May 6, Pascual said the PH-EU FTA has “a model to follow,” pertaining to the Philippines-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) trade deal, for which negotiations “took only a year.”

Earlier, the DTI said it aims to conclude the PH-EU FTA by 2027.

“The Philippines aims to finalize the trade talks by 2027… but I could be more optimistic given that the negotiations for the Philippine-EFTA took only a year, so we have a model to follow,” Pascual said.

He added: “Looking ahead, the chief negotiators’ meeting scheduled in June can lay the groundwork for the upcoming negotiation rounds.”

On March 18, Pascual and European Commission (EC) Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis jointly announced the resumption of formal negotiations for the PH-EU FTA, which is expected to boost two-way trade by 6 billion euros.

Meanwhile, the business dialogue was participated in by over 40 participants from the EU-ASEAN Business Council trade delegation coming from Singapore, who explored trade and investment opportunities in the Philippines to strengthen the economic ties between the Philippines and EU.

During the dialogue, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) also turned over to Pascual the organization’s 2024 Advocacy Paper highlighting ECCP’s priorities for enhanced economic outcomes.

These priority sectors include agriculture, automotive, aviation, environment and water, food and beverage, healthcare, human capital and education, infrastructure and information and communications technology-business process management-knowledge and process management, customs and logistics, renewable energy and energy efficiency, tax and financial services, and tourism.

“Building upon the successes of previous advocacy initiatives, we remain steadfast in pushing for policies that promote sustainable development and leveling the playing field for European and Filipino companies alike,” ECCP Executive Director Florian Gottein said. (Philippine News Agency)

 source: Panay News