MANILA - National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan on Wednesday said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) would bolster the Philippines' position as an investment hub.
In a statement, he said country would reap benefits from the mega-trade deal.
Twenty senators on Tuesday voted in favor of free trade agreement among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
“With the country’s participation to RCEP, the Philippines has now further strengthened its position as an ideal investment hub in the region as we expand market access, facilitate trade, and align our rules and procedures with participating economies,” Balisacan said.
The Philippines could serve as a gateway to the region as it boasts of its young and growing workforce as well as stable legal policies such as those on intellectual property and competition, he said.
This also makes the country an ideal manufacturing and research and development hub, he added.
Participating in RCEP can lead to "robust business expansion" and investment which can lead to quality and more resilient jobs, and sustained poverty reduction in line with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, Balisacan said.
“With the strong support of Congress, yesterday’s concurrence to the RCEP Agreement is a testament to the government’s commitment to creating an environment conducive for trade and investments that are catalysts for job creation, skills development, and technology transfer as we seek to transform the Philippine economy in the next six years,” he added.
Other key financial policies complement the RCEP ratification including the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act, and the Build-Operate-Transfer Law, which facilitate a more business-friendly environment.
Some businesses and farmer groups are calling for strengthened support for the agriculture sector to enable local farmers to compete with the expected influx of imported produce.