Local business groups and foreign chambers in the Philippines have urged the outgoing 18th Congress to pass six additional achievable economic reform measures that have been approved by the House of Representatives, and are still pending in the Senate. The business groups have strongly encouraged the Senate to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement. The Philippines is unable to participate in the key regional trade deal as the Senate has yet to give its concurrence on the RCEP. RCEP, which came into force on 1 January 2022, is a trade agreement between countries including Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is touted as the world’s biggest trade deal, representing 30% of the global gross domestic product.
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