Philippines government aims to finish talks on bilateral FTA with South Korea by Q1/2021 [ Philippines ] [ Korea ]
Reported on December 25, 2020, Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) revealed that the government aims to finalize and wrap-up bilateral discussions on the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea by Q1/2021.
DTI assistant secretary said the discussions were in the last stage with only 2 issues remaining to be threshed out, namely economic and technical cooperation. DTI believes this can be easily resolved, just a matter of fine-tuning the provisions, nomenclature, and preferences. The challenge is the market access issue. According to DTI, Philippines had “yet to receive a reasonable offer from Korea”, as Korea has yet to agree to several concessions, including exports of fruit to Korea.
Korea, meanwhile, was asking for lower duties for industrial exports to the Philippines that include automotive parts. Korean auto parts exports to the Philippines carry 30% duties.
DTI stressed that while Philippines is part of the ASEAN-Korea FTA and the newly formed Regional Cooperation and Economic Partnership, the products not covered by these agreements are still required to be pushed.
(From an article of Manilastandard.net on December 25, 2020)