Eu Philippines Free Trade Agreement

The EU and Philippines Free Trade Agreement: What You Need to Know

The European Union (EU) and the Philippines have been negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) for several years now. This FTA aims to increase trade and investment between the EU and the Philippines by reducing tariffs and improving market access for goods, services, and investments.

The EU is one of the Philippines` largest trading partners, with a total bilateral trade value of €14.9 billion in 2019. The Philippines is also a significant market for the EU, with exports to the Philippines valued at €6.7 billion in 2019. The FTA is expected to further strengthen trade and investment ties between the two economies.

One of the main objectives of the EU-Philippines FTA is to eliminate tariffs on goods traded between the two regions. This will benefit both exporters and consumers by reducing the cost of goods and increasing market access. The FTA will also address non-tariff barriers to trade, such as technical regulations and standards, which can often be a major obstacle to trade.

The FTA will also cover services and investments. This will provide opportunities for EU companies to invest in the Philippines and for Filipino companies to access the EU market. The FTA is expected to provide significant benefits to both sides by improving the investment climate and increasing business opportunities.

In addition, the EU-Philippines FTA will include provisions on intellectual property rights, government procurement, and sustainable development. These provisions will promote innovation, create a level playing field for businesses, and ensure that the benefits of trade are shared in a sustainable manner.

However, the negotiations have been paused since 2019 due to concerns about human rights issues in the Philippines. The EU has been calling for an end to extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations in the country. The Philippines has also been facing challenges in addressing labor standards and environmental protection.

Despite these challenges, both sides remain committed to concluding the FTA. The EU and the Philippines have resumed talks on the FTA in early 2021, and negotiations are ongoing.

In conclusion, the EU-Philippines FTA has the potential to bring significant benefits to both economies. It will help to increase trade and investment, reduce costs for consumers, and promote sustainable development. While the negotiations have faced challenges, both sides remain committed to concluding the FTA and resolving any outstanding issues. Watch this space for more updates on the progress of negotiations.