FEBRUARY 22, 2023 — Following the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, the government is optimistic that the country will reap the benefits and advantages of the mega-trade deal, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.
“With the country’s participation to RCEP, the Philippines has now further strengthened its position as an ideal investment hub in the region as we expand market access, facilitate trade, and align our rules and procedures with participating economies, ” NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said.
RCEP consolidates existing ASEAN regional free trade agreements among members and covers trade in goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, as well as dispute settlement, among others.
As underscored by the Marcos administration’s economic managers, the Philippines has an advantage as it can serve as a gateway to the dynamic ASEAN region, and boasts of a young, growing workforce, and stable legal regime, particularly on intellectual property and competition policy. This makes the country an ideal manufacturing and research and development hub, even for non-RCEP countries. Manufactured products can then be exported to RCEP-participating countries with preferential tariffs.
In line with the overall goals of the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, robust business expansion and investment are seen to lead to more, higher quality, and more resilient jobs that will be key to rapid and sustained poverty reduction.
“With the strong support of Congress, yesterday’s concurrence to the RCEP Agreement is a testament to the government’s commitment to creating an environment conducive for trade and investments that are catalysts for job creation, skills development, and technology transfer as we seek to transform the Philippine economy in the next six years,” Balisacan added.
Complementary to RCEP’s ratification is the recent implementation of key economic liberalization laws such as the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act, and the Build-Operate-Transfer Law, which will facilitate a more open and business-friendly investment climate.
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