The Marcos administration’s top economist is optimistic that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will fuel the country’s economic growth.
The Senate concurred the RCEP on Tuesday.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan thanked the Senate for taking the “bold and game-changing move” by concurring with the RCEP ratification that will allow the Philippines to implement the commitments and take advantage of the benefits under the trade pact.
“Finally, the Philippine Senate has ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, providing another engine for growing the economy and making it part of rapidly rising Asia,” Balisacan said in a tweet.
A day before the Senate’s concurrence, the NEDA chief emphasized that RCEP would not lead to an influx of imported agricultural commodities in the country, as only 15 out of 33 tariff lines with reduced rates were agricultural commodity groups.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual, whose agency is at the forefront of negotiating the country’s offensive interest in the RCEP, has welcomed Senate’s nod for the Philippines’ new FTA.
“RCEP is a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement that will further promote the economic efficiency of member states, strengthening linkages in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, agriculture, natural resources, as well as reinforcing MSME participation in the global value chain networks,” Pascual said in a Facebook post.
The Philippines is the last signatory country that ratified RCEP since it was concluded on Nov. 15, 2020 after eight years of negotiations.
It is a comprehensive trade and investment agreement initiated by the 10 Asean members with its FTA partners — China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
The FTA has entered into force since Jan. 1, 2021 for those participating countries that ratified RCEP early.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE