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PH sending trade mission to EU this year

/ 05:10 AM January 01, 2020

The Philippines is sending a trade mission to the European Union next year, the first in a long while as President Duterte’s relationship with the bloc got complicated over the issue of human rights.

While no date has been announced yet, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said this would be one of several trade missions scheduled for next year.“[People are] looking for a [Philippine] road show in the EU. So that’s scheduled for next year,” Lopez said.

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Among other trade missions, Lopez said he—or another top DTI official—would also go to China and Japan next year. The DTI usually holds about 10 trade shows a year.

“[We] haven’t finalized the month, but I’m due to conduct [an] investment roadshow and a trade mission,” Lopez said.

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The trade mission would likely try to rekindle the country’s economic ties with the EU, with which the Philippines have a strained relationship because of Mr. Duterte’s verbal attacks and threats targeted at one of the country’s most important trading partners.

Earlier this year, then-EU Ambassador Franz Jessen hinted at the lack of effort on both sides to reach out and reinvigorate the relationship.

“We work well with the different [cabinet] secretaries. We have a good cooperation with them. But I do feel we do need to get a bit closer together on economic issues,” Jessen said in his last ever press briefing in August before leaving his post.

“We need more visits in the two directions. We’ve seen a very strong increase in European investments into Vietnam, and I would very much welcome if some of that investment came here into the Philippines,” he said.“I think we have to look together at the why is that not happening to the extent that we would like to see,” Jessen added.

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TAGS: European Union, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, trade mission
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