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Outgoing Philippines trade chief hopes new Senate to ratify RCEP

Outgoing Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez remained optimistic that incoming senators will ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Lopez said the Philippines is likely to lose investment opportunities to other Southeast Asian countries if the Senate continues to delay the ratification of the trade agreement. Lopez said the Philippines runs the risk of losing some export markets and the good opportunities in investments such as in agribusiness, manufacturing for exports, and services. The Senate failed to give its concurrence to the RCEP before it adjourned sine die despite repeated appeals from economic managers and business groups. The Philippines is one of three countries that have not ratified the RCEP, along with ASEAN members Indonesia and Myanmar. President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. previously said he wanted to review the trade agreement to protect the local agriculture sector.

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