EFTA and the Philippines hold fourth round of negotiations

Published 27-11-2015
Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr., spokesperson for the Philippines and Ambassador Didier Chambovey, spokesperson for EFTA.
EFTA and the Philippines met for a fourth round of negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 24 to 27 November 2015.

Ambassador Didier Chambovey of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) acted as the EFTA spokesperson, while Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) led the Philippine delegations.

Working groups convened to discuss all areas under negotiation, i.e. trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, trade and sustainable development, government procurement, 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 substantial progress was achieved in all areas.

The fifth round of negotiations is foreseen to take place in early 2016 in the Philippines.

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 for 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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