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Philippines’ Comprehensive FTA Concluded with Four-Nation EFTA Bloc

PHILLIPINES: A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has been signed with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which comprise four nations, namely Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. Over the last 10 years, there has been an average 11% per annum increase in trade between the Philippines and the four EFTA nations.

The FTA’s comprehensive remit extends to trade in goods (industrial and agricultural goods, fish and other marine products), rules of origin, trade facilitation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, trade in services, investment, competition, protection of intellectual property rights, government procurement and sustainable development.

A joint committee will now oversee the implementation of the FTA. The agreement will only come fully into force after both parties have completed the necessary internal procedures. It is expected this process will take some one-two years to complete.

Total merchandise trade between the Philippines and the EFTA states amounted to US$863 million in 2015, with Philippine exports to the EFTA states valued at US$456 million and imports valued at US$407 million.

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