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The resumption of EU-PH FTA negotiations will be facilitated by adherence to international agreements.

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The Head of the EU Delegation to the Philippines stated on Monday that it will be simpler for the Philippines and the European Union (EU) to resume talks for a free trade agreement (FTA) if the nation ensures its commitment to the 27 international agreements.

EU Ambassador Luc Veron said the EU is still interested in an FTA with the Philippines in his keynote address at the European-Philippine Business Dialogue, but that the EU must first weigh the likelihood of picking up the talks again.

“We anticipate the Philippines taking action to carry out its obligations under the GSP+ (Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus) accord. It is obvious that it will make it simpler for the EU and the Philippines to evaluate the possibility of picking up the negotiations, according to Veron.

In 2013, the two sides began preliminary discussions for a bilateral free trade agreement.

The EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks got underway in 2016. 2017 saw the holding of the final round of negotiations in Cebu City. The talks have been on hold ever since.

No choice between Thailand, Malaysia, or the Philippines needs to be made as the European Commission begins to consider if the circumstances are suitable to restart one of the Southeast Asian negotiations that have been on pause for the past few years. However, in the case of the Philippines, adherence to these regulations continues to be a crucial component of this reflection, according to Veron.

“EU still has an interest in an FTA. But we think not all the pieces are there yet,” he said.

For the time being, the EU envoy stated, the EU GSP+ will promote exports from the Philippines to the EU.

Veron is also confident that the pre-pandemic level of 15 billion euros in bilateral commerce between the EU and the Philippines will be surpassed.

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