Experts push for PH inclusion in TPP
Economists and industry experts are pushing for the country’s membership in the ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which is expected to boost Philippine exports by up to 42 percent, and gross domestic product, by 59 percent.
According to the US Agency for International Development (USAID), experts believe the Philippines is primed to seize the opportunities and the significant economic gains from being part of the TPP, should it be opened up to a second round of membership.
“The Philippines is well-positioned to seize opportunities in the TPP, given our experience and commitment to participate in various international fora and our pursuit of mutually beneficial trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe,” said Cielito Habito, former director general of the National Economic Development Authority (Neda).
“Philippine efforts to continue ongoing trade and investment reforms and liberalization also contribute to our readiness to seek membership in new generation trade agreements such as the TPP, and take advantage of opportunities for growth in the global arenas,” Habito explained, “The country’s membership in TPP will present substantial opportunities for broad-based growth and diversification of the economy, whereas non-membership is already threatening to lead to significant job losses due to trade and investment diversion away from the country to other similar neighbors who are already part of the agreement.”
Signed in early February, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an agreement involving 12 member-countries—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam. Its members have a combined population of 800 million, a gross domestic product of $28 trillion (40 percent of global GDP), $9 trillion in merchandise trade, and $2 trillion trade of services (or about 30 percent of world trade). Amy R. Remo