UK LOOKS TO BILATERAL FREETRADE AGREEMENT WITH MANILA AFTER BREXIT
Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez
As the Philippines works towards empowering micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and improving the ease of doing business, the UK has expressed interest in creating a trade agreement with the country.
The discussion comes as London exits the European Union through the tumultuous Brexit initiative, making such direct agreements of higher importance to the country as the UK goes it alone outside the EU’s trade environment.
By establishing the bilateral agreement, the two countries could capitalise on those products and services that mutually benefit them, but which might not have the same pull across the entirety of the EU, according to Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. As it stands, the UK is not one of the Philippines’ primary trade partners, local media reported him as saying, but the potential agreement could serve as an opportunity for Manila to strengthen its relationship and trade movement with one of the largest global economies.
“They appreciate the strong campaigns of government on anti-competition policies, ease of doing business, regulatory reforms, and MSME training,” Lopez said.
The agreement would be possible only after Brexit is completed. In the meantime, a UK member of parliament is set to visit the Philippines this month, where he is expected to discuss the trade agreement.