PH Oks new Asean free trade terms with ANZ, Hong Kong
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PH oks new Asean free trade terms with ANZ, Hong Kong

/ 02:14 AM February 16, 2024

MANILA  — The Philippines has given its consent to amend two major free trade deals of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), of which it is a founding member, for the benefit of investors, traders and exporters.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Thursday said it had signed a day earlier the “Second Protocol to Amend the Agreement Establishing the Asean-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA)” as well as the “First Protocol to Amend the Asean-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA).”

“The finalization of the Second Protocol to amend the AANZFTA represents another milestone in our work to further strengthen regional trade and investment flows between Asean, Australia, and New Zealand. We want to ensure the agreement continues to benefit businesses and reinforce our strategic links in the region,” Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said in a statement.


READ: Asean concludes free trade deal with Hong Kong


According to the DTI, the improved commitments under this agreement include new chapters on government procurement, trade and sustainable development and micro, small, and medium enterprises.

Additionally, there are new rules to boost merchandise trade, including sections on facilitating trade of essential goods during humanitarian crises and tackling related issues on nontariff measures.

READ: Increase exports to Australia, NZ, PH firms urged

The DTI added that the amended AANZFTA would provide greater stability for Filipino businesses interested in investing and providing services in Australia and New Zealand, including those engaged in professional services, education, transportation, construction, tourism and banking services.

Meanwhile, the AHKFTA changes allow more liberal origin rules for manufacturing products such as food preparations, polystyrene, jewelry, woven fabrics and denim.

The DTI said that the simplified rules would allow traders to claim lower tariffs.


“We recognize the developments in the global economy and the challenges that come with it,” said Pascual.

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TAGS: ASEAN, free trade agreement

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