Marcos vows to forge more int’l partnerships

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Monday his administration will further expand the country’s partnerships with the international community, especially in terms of strengthening economic and trade relations. In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), Marcos said that since the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) entered into force in the country, the Philippines now have competitive access to the markets of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, Australia, China, Japan New Zealand, and South Korea. Before RCEP, the Philippines had free trade agreements (FTAs) with the 10 ASEAN members, bilateral FTA with Japan, and with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). ‘We will continue to forge more of these international partnerships that will lead to a more balanced trade strategy and a healthier economic position,’ Marcos said. The Chief Executive said his administration’s independent foreign policy will help in forging partnerships with the international community. ‘Our independent foreign policy-a friend to all and an enemy of none-has proven effective. We have formed strategic alliances with our traditional and newfound partners in the international community,” he said. The Philippines has concluded negotiations with South Korea for a bilateral FTA. Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual earlier said the new bilateral trade deal is now up for signing, and both countries hope to sign the FTA within the year. Recently, the trade chief said the European Union (EU) is interested in restarting the scoping study to continue the EU-Philippines FTA negotiations. The EU-Philippines FTA talks were put on hold for the past six years

Source: Philippines News Agency