Philippines readies for RCEP participation, eyes Export Development Plan launch: DTI


Posted at Apr 24 2023 11:01 AM

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The Philippines is preparing for its entry to the Regional Economic Cooperation Partnership (RCEP) in June, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said on Monday.

"We’re making sure that the Philippines will be ready now that we are going to be part of RCEP effective 2nd of June... What DTI is going to do is to make sure that we make our businesses and the public aware of the potential gains from RCEP," he said.

In line with the RCEP participation, the government is also eyeing the launch of its Export Development Plan 2023 to 2024 in the same month, Pascual said.

Pascual said the government would also launch a forum on international trade, which he said is expected to be held annually.

When asked how RCEP would help Filipinos, Pascual said "one of the concrete benefits coming out of this trading blocks is the improved traction of the country for investments... Foreign investment means new factories, new operations, that means jobs."

The Senate earlier ratified the country's participation in the RCEP, a free trade agreement among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. 

RCEP removes up to 90 percent of tariffs in the trading block within 20 years, which Pascual said could boost the country's foreign direct investments, due to foreign firms that would like to gain access to RCEP member countries.