Philippines, South Korea free trade deal in final stages

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Fishing boats and container cranes are seen in Manila, the Philippines on Aug. 7, 2020. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

The free trade agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and South Korea is in the final stages, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Tuesday.

Philippine Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said, “we have concluded our negotiations and are now in the final stages of our FTA with South Korea.”

The Philippines is also “looking into entering a potential preferential trade agreement with India and launching negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with the United Arab Emirates,” Pascual was quoted by the DTI as saying.

Last month, the Philippines ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement.

“When the agreement takes effect, Philippine exporters will gain a market of 15 countries representing nearly 30 percent of the world’s population, economy, and trade,” Pascual said the RCEP gains outweigh the losses. “Among others, we need to take advantage of the enhanced trade facilitation provisions that make cross-border trade simpler and faster.”

The RCEP is a massive trade deal involving Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Xinhua News Agency

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