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PH inks second protocol to ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade deal

GMA News Online - 06 March 2024

PH inks second protocol to ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade deal
By Anna Feilicia Bajo

The Philippines signed the second protocol to the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, President Ferdinand ’’Bongbong’’ Marcos Jr. said Wednesday.

Marcos made the remark during his intervention at the Leaders’ Plenary Session at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit. He said this development would benefit micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as this will facilitate their participation in international trade.

This will improve their access to markets and participation in the global value chains, as well as promoting the use of e-commerce.

’’I am confident that through this development, the AANZFTA will continue to respond to the evolving multidimensional challenges in the business environment and complement region-to-region efforts to strengthen supply chain resilience, the expansion of trade and investment, inclusivity, and sustainable development,’’ Marcos said.

’’With the momentum from the CEO Forum yesterday, and AANZFTA together with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, we are confident that we will usher in even more robust economic cooperation within our region and provide a legal framework for a more prosperous future,’’ he added.

The AANZFTA is a market of around 711 million people with a combined GDP of US$ 5.9 trillion, based on data sourced from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Economic Outlook as of April 2023.

Australia and New Zealand, taken together, is ASEAN’s eighth largest trading partner.

Further, Marcos welcomed Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040, which he describes as an elaborate plan that aims to broaden and deepen the economic ties between ASEAN and Australia.

’’The economic cooperation infrastructures and web of free trade agreements that ASEAN and Australia have established over the years provide a solid foundation for this Strategy to flourish and to create a shared future that is peaceful and is prosperous,’’ he said.

The Philippine president said his administration looks forward to expanding its collaboration on agriculture on food security, digital economy, infrastructure, tourism, and healthcare.

 source: GMA News Online