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PHL seeks FTA with US on cyberspace, digital technology; trade deal with Japan

Business Mirror - 16 May 2024

PHL seeks FTA with US on cyberspace, digital technology; trade deal with Japan
By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

The Philippines is considering forging a bilateral free-trade agreement (FTA) with the United States on cyberspace and digital technology.

Speaking before the media in Washington, D.C., Philippine ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said the Philippines’s plan to have an FTA with the US on the two areas is part of the two nations’ renewed interest to further enhance trade and economic cooperation.

“In specific areas… [for instance, in cyberspace or in digital technology]; and of course, there are many other areas that I think we can work with the US on having these,” Romualdez said. “The US is committed to really helping [and] looking at the Philippines as…a major investment hub for many American firms.”

The ambassador shared his belief the US is more inclined to go into specific sectors for the possible agreement.

According to him, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) meeting to be held in Manila next month would give a “clearer picture” of the direction of the economic setup of the two countries.

“But the IPEF, which the US has started and the Philippines being] one of the founding members of that economic framework, is looking at including the entire Asean,” he said.

The Philippine government, he told members of the media, would follow-up on the previous meeting with Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo of the US, particularly on potential investors coming into the Philippines.

The Filipino diplomat added that the Philippines is also eyeing similar trade ties with Japan.

 source: Business Mirror