Inquirer | 6 September 2023
PH, UAE continue free trade discussions
By: Alden M. Monzon
MANILA - The Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are continuing discussions for a free trade agreement, with both sides reaffirming their commitment to bolster trade and investments between the two countries.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Tuesday said Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual met with UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi on the sidelines of the 23rd ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Council Meeting in Jakarta last Sept 3.
“During the meeting, both sides acknowledged the need to further enhance Philippines-UAE bilateral trade, investments and economic cooperation,” the DTI said in a statement, citing that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) and the implementation of the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) were discussed.
“Further, both trade ministers discussed exploring possible investments and cooperation in areas like renewable energy, research and development, and skills development,” the government agency added.
Earlier last month, Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo told reporters that the terms of reference for the Cepa have already been finished and that they expect to convene within the year to move the discussions forward.
Rodolfo had said that the Middle Eastern country UAE is a good market for the Philippines’ halal-related products, tropical fruits, garments, as well as high end, finished consumer goods like luxury watches, belts and other leather products.