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Philippines enhances global trade with RCEP, Korea FTA



The Philippines has bolstered its trade network by joining two new free trade agreements (FTAs) in 2023: the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a bilateral trade pact with South Korea. The RCEP, including 10 ASEAN states and partners like China, Japan, and South Korea, was activated in the Philippines on June 2. This FTA, representing a significant global economic share, is expected to spur the country’s economic growth by enhancing market access. National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan emphasises the minimal impact on agricultural tariffs under RCEP, countering concerns about overwhelming agricultural imports. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual encourages Filipino exporters, especially MSMEs, to leverage this opportunity. The Philippines-South Korea FTA, the country’s third bilateral trade agreement, aims to further strengthen economic relations between the two nations.

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