German companies call for resumption of negotiation on EU-PH Free Trade Agreement

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                       GPCCI’s Executive Director, Dr. Martin Henkelmann (Photo File: Monsi A. Serrano/THEPHILBIZNEWS)

By Monsi A. Serrano

While German companies eyed expansion last year to the Philippines and other Asian countries, the recent COVID19 pandemic prompted for some adjustments.

Thus, during the survey that was conducted by the German-Philippine Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GPCCI) and Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SGC) last May 11 to 24 2020, called for the resumption of the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the Philippines and the European Union (EUPHFTA). The said survey was participated by the German companies active and non-active in the Philippines.

Based on the survey, the resumption of the EUPHFTA is of high importance to 83% of German companies. 45% of German companies would expand their current investments, while more than 50 German companies participating in the survey would consider the first-time investment if the EUPHFTA liberalizes the current investment regime in the Philippines.

In the statement sent to THEPHILBIZNEWS by the German-Philippine Chamber of Industry and Commerce says GPCCI President Tristan Arwen Loveres said,  “The results show the huge potential for the Philippine-German and more general for the Philippine-European economic relations.”

“We encourage that the next negotiation round should be scheduled this year,” the GPCCI President added.

Meanwhile, GPCCI’s Executive Director, Dr. Martin Henkelmann, pointed out, “All countries and regions look for measures to stimulate the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming years. And a Philippine-EU Free Trade Agreement linking these two important economic players together would have a strong impulse.”

The survey received a high response rate of 210 which displays the importance of the topic and interest among the German companies in the resumption of the bilateral negotiations.

Bilateral negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the European Union were launched in December 2015. To date, only two rounds of negotiations were held in May 2016 and February 2017. Germany is the largest trading partner of the Philippines in the European Union and its 11th largest global trading partner with a total trade volume of EUD 6.3 bn, with EUD 2.8 bn coming from Germany, and EUD 3.5 bn being exported to Germany.

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