Ambassador Didier Chambovey of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) acted as the EFTA spokesperson, while Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) led the Philippine delegation.
Working groups convened to discuss all remaining areas under negotiation, i.e. trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, government procurement, legal and institutional issues, trade remedies, rules of origin and trade facilitation. The meetings were held in a positive and efficient atmosphere.
The fifth round was the last foreseen round of the negotiations and laid the ground for the finalisation of the Agreement.
Total commodity trade between the EFTA States and the Philippines has grown steadily over the last years, with an increase of 40% from 2011 to 2015 and total trade in 2015 amounting to around USD 863 million. The stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Philippines’ economy originating from the EFTA States has almost tripled in the last ten years. In 2012, the outward stock of EFTA FDI in the Philippines stood at approximately USD 4 billion.
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