October 8, 2021

In October, the Philippines and South Korea plan to conclude a free trade agreement.

The Philippines and South Korea are currently completing their bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), according to a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) official. The trade pact is expected to be completed next month.

“We’re also nearing the end of the FTA negotiations with Korea.” Hopefully, this would be completed in time for the ASEAN-Korea Summit, which will take place towards the end of October,” said Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo during the virtual 2021 European-Philippine Business Summit.

Seoul-based According to Yonhap News Agency, South Korea is extending free trade agreements with growing Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Cambodia, and Indonesia, as well as Latin American countries, in order to decrease its dependence on big economies in terms of trade.

Manila and Seoul have decided to seek a free trade agreement (FTA) in 2019 to enhance goods and services market access.

Regional trade agreements, such as the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area and the recently completed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, have been signed between the two nations.

The Philippines-Korea Free Trading Agreement, according to Rodolfo, has consequences for European companies, especially in the trade of high-end automobile cars.

The FTA will make South Korean high-end vehicles more competitive than those from Europe.

The DTI, according to Rodolfo, expects that the European Union (EU) “would likewise follow the lead from EFTA (European Free Trade Association),” which sought and completed a free trade agreement with the Philippines.

He said, “We want to see another FTA with Europe.”

According to Rodolfo, the Philippines has started two of the three pillars of its plan to develop commercial ties with Europe.

He mentioned the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus and the EFTA Free Trade Agreement as examples.

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