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Philippine trade secretary warns impact of RCEP delay in the Senate

The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has warned that delays in the Senate’s concurrence of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will hurt the country's economy. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the Philippines is one of several countries seen to offer greater market access for services traded under the RCEP. DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the delay in the Senate's action would hurt economic activity and job creation as trade and investments would be diverted to other countries in the region. The Senate only has until Feb. 4 to tackle the RCEP before lawmakers go on a break for the election campaign. From January 1, the RCEP has been in force in 11 countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.

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