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Philippines interested in joining US-led Trans-Pacific free trade area

InterAksyon | November 19, 2014

Philippines interested in joining US-led Trans-Pacific free trade area

By: Philippine News Agency

MANILA — President Benigno S. Aquino III is keen on the Philippines joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade area spearheaded by the United States.

During a forum in Singapore, the President said the government is studying the benefits of joining the TPP before it makes a decision.

"We are continuing the studies and we think we would want to join all of the trade agreements and expand our markets," he said, noting that the Philippines is working with several countries, particularly the US, Japan, and Malaysia, to address some of the concerns of joining the trade arrangement.

The TPP is an ambitious, 21st century trade agreement that the US is negotiating with 11 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, namely Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Asked if he is keen on participating in the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), which China pushed during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, Aquino said the FTAAP is still being studied and its assessment will conclude in 2016.

Since he is stepping down by the time the study is concluded, the President said he will let his successor decide whether or not to participate in the FTAAP.

The President is in Singapore for a two-day official visit to meet with the city-state’s business community.

 source: PNA