Envoy hopes PH can sign free trade deals with US, Japan

Envoy hopes PH can sign free trade deals with US, Japan

/ 12:27 AM April 12, 2024

From left to right: President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and President Joe Biden. | PHOTOS: Official facebook page of Bongbong Marcos, AFP

From left to right: President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and President Joe Biden. | PHOTOS: Official facebook page of Bongbong Marcos, AFP

WASHINGTON, D.C., United States — The Philippines is hoping that a free trade agreement (FTA) would be signed with the two other countries joining the trilateral summit here on Thursday — the United States (US) and Japan — to improve the countries’ trade relations and economic standing.

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez in a briefing on Wednesday (Eastern time) said that there are areas where the three countries can work together, especially since the US has committed to assisting the Philippines in becoming a major investment hub.


READ: $100-B investments seen to flow into PH in 5-10 years – US envoy 


“Well, on specific areas. Specific areas–probably in the cyberspace, for instance, or in the digital technology and of course, there are many other areas that I think we can work with the United States on having this,” Romualdez said during the briefing at the Philippine Embassy here.

“As I said, the United States is committed itself into really helping – well, I wouldn’t wanna put it helping, but looking at the Philippines as really a major investment hub for many American companies,” he added.

An FTA with Japan would also be beneficial for the Philippines, as both countries are part of the Indo-Pacific region.

“But the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which the United States has initiated, of which we are one of the founding members of that economic framework, is looking at including the entire ASEAN region,” he said.

During the same briefing, Romualdez announced that the Philippines is set to receive US$100 billion worth of investments from the US and Japan in the next five to ten years.

READ: A first: US Presidential Trade and Investment Mission in PH 


Romualdez said they got these estimates from businesses and economic managers as the Philippines has been gearing towards liberalization of its economy.

“I’m afraid I don’t have the ballpark figure but I can tell you, that the figures I’ve been hearing — this may sound a little bit expanded in a way — but were talking about a hundred billion in investments in the next five to ten years, perhaps even five years would probably be more appropriate,” Romualdez said when asked for a figure on the investments that would come into the Philippines.

“We have a lot of areas where we are putting ourselves, our economic managers are putting our country into a situation where we’re opening up our economy especially in energy which is very important for us, and also of course in digital infrastructure and infrastructure, physical infrastructure, as also one of the other aspects of our economic package that we’d like to offer for potential investors,” he added.

According to Romualdez, the Philippines can achieve a huge percentage of this number already just by getting a share in the US semiconductor industry, which is said to be worth US$80 billion just in the Asean region.

Just recently, American companies have announced investments amounting to more than US$1 billion in the Philippines. US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said during an official visit to Manila last March for the trade and investment mission that the US aims to be the economic partner of choice in the Indo-Pacific.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

These topics are expected to be part of discussions between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., US President Joe Biden, and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio during the trilateral meeting on Thursday afternoon, and a dinner that Marcos will attend with over 200 business executives in the US.

TAGS: free trade agreement (FTA), Japan, US

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.