10 0 0 2 weeks ago 4 min to read

European businesses push for EU-PH FTA negotiations.

European businesses demand that talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and the Philippines pick back up.

Chris Humphrey, executive director of the EU-ASEAN Business Council (ABC), stated during a news conference on Monday in Makati City that the Philippines must have the EU-Philippines FTA in place before it loses the advantages of the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+).

You will eventually lose GSP+, but you need to do so for the correct reasons, and your ongoing economic growth is one of those reasons, according to Humphrey.

According to the World Bank’s classification, the EU offers trade favors to lower-middle-income, lower-income, and least-developed countries.

“The important thing then is to make sure that the FTA is in place when that happens, so you can continue to trade better and smarter with Europe,” he continued.

Humphrey stated that they appreciate recent high-level visits from EU nations to the Philippines so they can personally observe the changes taking place there.

Petr Fiala, the prime minister of the Czech Republic, arrived in the nation last month, while Johan Forssell, the minister of foreign trade of Sweden, also went to Manila last week.

Sweden supports the resumption of FTA negotiations between the EU and the Philippines, Forssell told reporters.

Humphrey agreed, saying, “I think this is a very good strategy to engage Europe to go out there and have dialogues with your counterparts but also to invite them on various occasions to the Philippines to showcase to them what’s happening here on the ground.”

He noted that the impression of the Philippines among members of the European Parliament, notably in Brussels, has changed during the last three to four years.

In 2013 the Philippines and EU began preliminary discussions for an FTA, then in 2016 and 2017, there were two negotiations. Since then, there haven’t been any additional talks for the free trade agreement.

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