European firms want EU-PH free trade pact | Inquirer Business
DTI bats for fresh negotiations

European firms want EU-PH free trade pact

MANILA  -Four in five European firms with local operations said that a free trade agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the European Union has significant importance to their operations, indicating a large clamor for such a bilateral pact from the private sector.

According to a recent survey by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) conducted in the first half of 2023, 81 percent of the respondents expressed this view toward a possible EU-Philippines FTA.

“This shows a strong appetite for the recommencement and conclusion of EU-PH FTA talks,” the ECCP said following the release of the results of the study which surveyed 200 respondents.


The same study further noted that about 83 percent of the respondents anticipating heavy utilization of an EU-PH FTA.


Respondents also mentioned trade in goods, customs and trade facilitation, trade in services, investments, as well as trade and sustainable development as the most relevant chapters in such a trade pact.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the EU is the Philippines’ fourth largest trading partner by economic bloc, with Philippine exports and imports amounting to $667 million and $640.53 million, respectively, in December 2022.

In August of last year, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said the country wants negotiations for an EU-Philippines FTA to resume, citing that he prefers to have a more permanent policy when it comes to tariffs concessions.

Pascual was referring to the Philippines eligibility to the EU’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus program, which is subject to periodic renewals as well as a number of requirements. INQ

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TAGS: European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, European Union, free trade agreement (FTA)

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