Working groups convened to discuss all areas under negotiation, i.e. trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition, trade and sustainable development, legal and institutional issues, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade remedies, rules of origin and trade facilitation. The meetings were held in a positive and efficient atmosphere, and good progress was achieved in several areas.
Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr of the Department of Trade and Industry led the Philippine delegation and Ambassador Didier Chambovey of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs acted as the EFTA spokesperson.
The first and second rounds of negotiations took place in March and July 2015 respectively. The next round of negotiations is scheduled to take place in November 2015.
Total commodity trade between the EFTA States and the Philippines has grown steadily over the last years, with an increase of just over 4% from 2010 to 2014 and total trade in 2014 amounting to around USD 636 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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