DTI wants FTA with South Korea ratified by mid-year

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
DTI wants FTA with South Korea ratified by mid-year
Ceferino Rodolfo
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants the free trade agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and South Korea to be ratified by the middle of this year.

“The timeline we are looking at (for Philippines-South Korea FTA) is mid of this year,” Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo told reporters.

With South Korea set to hold parliamentary elections this April, he said South Korea is also expected to be ready for the necessary process for the FTA.

He also said the DTI does not expect issues in the ratification of the FTA with South Korea similar to those faced with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement.

“This is very targeted, very focused. And we know what we really want. We know what they (South Korea) want,” he said.

The Philippines and South Korea signed the FTA in September last year.

Negotiations for the FTA commenced in June 2019 and were concluded in October 2021.

The FTA is expected to remove tariffs on most products from the two countries to promote growth in bilateral trade.

It is expected to enable greater market access in South Korea for Philippine products, including bananas and processed pineapples.

In addition, the FTA is envisioned to help promote the Philippines as a strong market for smart and sustainable investments.

South Korea, meanwhile, is expected to benefit from the FTA in terms of removal of tariffs on Korean automobiles and car parts in the Philippine market.

In addition to market access, the FTA between the Philippines and South Korea covers other chapters including competition and economic and technical cooperation.

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