AN­A­LYSTS have down­played any neg­a­tive impact on the econ­omy from Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s lat­est tirade against the Euro­pean Union (EU).

On Thurs­day, Duterte threat­ened to ex­pel EU diplo­mats after claim­ing that they wanted to have the Philip­pines booted out of the United Na­tions. The Palace quickly moved to limit the fall- out, say­ing the pres­i­dent had re­acted to state­ments made by an in­ter­na­tional del­e­ga­tion that had warned the coun­try could be kicked out of the UN Hu­man

Rights Coun­cil.

“If pur­sued, such move would dis­rupt our coun­try’s trade trans­ac­tions with the EU and drive for­eign in­vestors, es­pe­cially those from Europe, away from the Philip­pines, re­sult­ing po­ten­tially in the slow­down of the coun­try’s growth,” Land Bank of the Philip­pines mar­ket econ­o­mist Guian An­gelo Du­mala­gan said.

“How­ever, I be­lieve that the re­cent re­mark of the pres­i­dent is no dif­fer­ent from his other con­tro­ver­sial com­ments in the past that proved to be mere po­lit­i­cal noise,” he added.

Du­mala­gan also claimed that in­vestors were still fo­cus­ing on pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments such as the gov­ern­ment’s tax re­forms and in­fra­struc­ture plans.

IHS Markit Chief Econ­o­mist Ra­jiv Biswas also said that bi­lat­eral re­la­tions would not be af­fected by the in­ci­dent, “un­less ei­ther the Philip­pines or EU an­nounce some new mea­sures.”

“The pres­i­den­tial palace has re­spond­ing to state­ments by a seven- per­son del­e­ga­tion from the In­ter­na­tional Del­e­gates of the Pro­gres­sive Al­liance, which does not rep­re­sent the EU, and the pres­i­dent had chal­lenged the del­e­ga­tion to leave the coun­try. EU vis­it­ing del­e­ga­tion did not rep­re­sent the EU,” Biswas said.

He noted, how­ever, that the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment ear­lier this year adopted a res­o­lu­tion call­ing on the EU to con­vince the Philip­pines to stop ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings re­lated to the anti-drug cam­paign.

The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in­di­cated that it may con­sider re­mov­ing the Philip­pines from the list Gen­eral Sys­tem of Pref­er­ences Plus (GSP+) pro­gram if no progress was made on this mat­ter, Biswas added.

duty free ac­cess for over 6,200 prod­ucts into the EU mar­ket un­der the GSP+ sys­tem, and the EU is the third largest ex­port mar­ket for the Philip­pines, ac­count­ing for 12.1 per­cent of to­tal Philip­pines mer­chan­dise ex­ports in 2016,” he said.

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