Philippines misses Jan 1 RCEP deadline; to conduct public hearing

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The Philippines missed the January 1 effectivity of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as its senate went into recess without concurring the ratification of the deal. As foreign business chambers there have called for RCEP ratification, the senate concurrence faces stiff opposition by several groups, mostly agriculture and non-governmental organizations.

The Philippines senate will continue conducting public hearing this year on the RCEP issue. The country’s participation under the actual RCEP trading environment will take effect 60 days from the deposit of instrument of ratification. The government said the delay is just for a few months. 

The opposing groups, which think that the deal will result in further import surges, price depression and displacement of domestic production, have urged senators to reject the trade deal.

The Philippines missed the January 1 effectivity of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as its senate went into recess without concurring the deal’s ratification. As foreign business chambers have called for RCEP ratification, the senate concurrence faces opposition by many groups, mostly agriculture and non-governmental organisations.

The Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines and Philippine Council for Foreign Relations, however, urged the Philippine senate to approve the country’s RCEP membership as they feel the agreement will offer a wide variety of economic benefits to the country.

“As such, it is a huge market that Filipino producers would gain preferential access to via membership in RCEP,” the associations noted in a statement.

Emphasising that inclusion in the bloc might help attract more foreign investment, they also said RCEP presents certain risks to uncompetitive industries as well as individual producers and their workers.

“And like in the other free trade agreements the country has joined, the overall economic gains in terms of net job creation, economic growth and price stabilization will well outweigh the costs,” the groups were quoted as saying by Philippines media reports.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)



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