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MANILA -- The Philippines is pursuing the resumption of free trade negotiations with the European Union (EU), Philippine Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said on Monday.
During a meeting, Pascual told members of the EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) about his country's intention to return to the negotiating table over the Philippines-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Pascual said an FTA with the EU will help the Philippines secure additional duty-free market access, and provide a conducive framework for attracting more significant investments from the EU.
He also highlighted the government's efforts to facilitate international partnerships and collaboration through the recently-ratified Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement that will encourage foreign direct investment inflows.
"I'd like to reemphasize our growth strategy centered around enhancing trade and investment. Our objective is to foster job creation and poverty reduction by uplifting the global position of our export sectors and driving investments into strategic areas," Pascual said.
The EU-ABC, a major voice of European businesses in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, comprises nine European Chambers of Commerce in Southeast Asia and major European multinational corporations across multiple sectors such as manufacturing, services, healthcare and logistics.