The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has renewed its call for the resumption of talks for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU). In a meeting with the members of the European Parliament Sub-Committee on Human Rights, DTI Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual conveyed the country’s long-term interest to resume the FTA negotiations between the Philippines and the EU.
There have been two rounds of negotiations for the FTA between the Philippines and the EU, with the first one held in May 2016 and the last in February 2017. According to Secretary Pascual, with the positive developments in the relations between the Philippines and the EU, and the growing economic performance of the Philippines, these all merit further consideration of elevating Philippine-EU relations through an FTA. DTI proposes the continuation of the FTA negotiations, as the FTA will provide a more stable and permanent platform for trade and investment between both parties.
The Philippines is also the only beneficiary country in Southeast Asia of the EU Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) which enables beneficiary countries to export 6,274 products to the bloc at zero tariff.
(Source: The Philippine Star)