DTI to pursue free trade deal with EU

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 6) — Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said Tuesday he will travel to Brussels by the latter part of June to push for the country’s proposed free trade agreement with the European Union (EU).

During a Palace briefing, Pascual said that he would follow up on the EU-GSP+ that is set to lapse by the end of 2023.

Under the European Union's Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+), the Philippines can export over 6,200 eligible products duty-free to the EU market.

“‘Yung GSP+, it’s available to the Philippines now given that the Philippines is a low middle-income country. Kapag naging upper middle-income country ang Pilipinas, hindi na tayo eligible sa GSP+ (Once the Philippines becomes an upper middle-income country, we’re no longer eligible under the GSP+),” Pascual said.

“Kaya sabi ko kailangan mag-umpisa na tayo mag-negotiate para sa free trade agreement,” he added.

[Translation: So I said we need to start negotiating for a free trade agreement.]

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According to Pascual, businesses from Europe that are operating here and some members of the parliament of the EU have already expressed support for the Philippines.