November 17, 2022
The European Union (EU) remains interested in forging a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Philippines but “not all elements are in place yet,” according to Luc Véron, ambassador of the EU Delegation in Manila.
At the 2022 European-Philippine Business Dialogue yesterday, Veron said the bloc is looking forward to the Philippines implementing its commitment on the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) conventions as this will “make it easier for the EU and the Philippines to further assess the prospect of a resumption of the negotiation (of an FTA) and more importantly the perspective of a successful outcome of such talks.”
Veron said compliance by the Philippines with GSP+ “remain(s) a fundamental element” of the “reflection” being undertaken by the European Commission to determine whether or not “the conditions are right to resume one of the negotiations in the Southeast Asia that has been posed in the last few years.”
Veron said no decision has been made “whether it would be Thailand, Malaysia, or the Philippines.”
According to Veron, the successful implementation of the GSP+, with this implication for human and labor rights, good governance and environmental protection is currently the first priority in the EU- Philippine trade policy relations.
In a statement, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the Philippines has asked the support of Germany in its application for the renewal of the EU GSP+.
This was discussed by DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual with Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck during a meeting organized by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business and DTI- Berlin.
During the meeting attended also by private businessmen, Pascual encouraged German companies to invest in the Philippines.