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AANZFTA upgrade expected to kick-start post-pandemic recovery in PH

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The ASEAN Summit was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, last week, and negotiations to upgrade the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) came to a significant conclusion. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is hopeful that the upgraded trade agreement will hasten the nation’s post-pandemic recovery.

As we obtain another top-notch FTA, the upgrading negotiations’ major conclusion represents a new turning point for both ASEAN and Australia-New Zealand. The addition of a Chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development and MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) is anticipated to promote inclusive growth and company integration into the global value chain, according to a statement released on Monday by DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual.

In order to hasten the post-pandemic recovery for ASEAN as well as its dialogue partners Australia and New Zealand, talks to strengthen the AANZFTA began in September 2020.

In addition to improved provisions on electronic commerce, customs procedures and trade facilitation, trade in goods, rules of origin, trade in services, and investments, the trade deal upgrade includes additional chapters and provisions on MSMEs, trade and sustainable development, and education services.

Next year, the parties want to sign the second protocol amending the AANZFTA.

The first regional trade pact for ASEAN is AANZFTA. In addition to AANZFTA, ASEAN is putting into effect the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which went into effect this year, which is another regional trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand.

In 2010, the Philippines began to implement the AANZFTA.

According to the DTI, in terms of trading partners for the Philippines in 2021, Australia was rated 16th, and New Zealand was ranked 28th.

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