EU, PH to engage in fresh FTA talksBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippines may start fresh talks with the European Union in the third quarter to iron out a proposed bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), according to the country’s chief trade negotiator.
Adrian S. Cristobal Jr., a Department of Trade and Industry undersecretary who steers the agency’s industry development and trade policy, said the Philippine government would soon wrap up a study on the potential benefits and impact of such a deal.
“We are scoping this agreement internally with the different government agencies. We have already commissioned a study with the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). We expect the first draft of the study to be out in July and then we will start the second round of consultations on this potential agreement also in July or August,” Cristobal told reporters.
The initial round of consultations last year was made on general terms. “This second round will at least have the study on potential benefits and impact of the FTA between the Philippines and EU,” Cristobal said.
PIDS president Josef T. Yap said via e-mail that the state think tank is currently consolidating “various sectoral studies” about the benefits and impact of the proposed deal on Philippine industries.
Scoping helps narrow down the industry sectors, potentially sensitive issues, policies, laws and government procedures that may affect the FTA terms and vice versa.
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