DTI advances PHL trade interest in Davos meet

The annual meeting of business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF), held in Davos, gave the country an opportunity to advance its trade and investment interests, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

At the sidelines of the meet, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said he met with his counterparts, including Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita, Swiss Trade Minister Schneider Ammann, Canadian Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne, and European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.

In particular, discussions with the EU centered on the special trade scheme, the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP)-Plus and the second round of negotiations for a free-trade agreement (FTA).

The second round of FTA negotiations between the two countries is slated for March, with observers noting that recent “hot-button issues”, such as the reinstatement of the death penalty and reports of extrajudicial killings are slowing down the process.

The DTI chief also met with the trade ministers of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which has an existing FTA with the Philippines.

Lopez said the Philippines also leveraged its participation in the WEF to highlight the country’s sanguine economic outlook under the new administration.

In the High Level Session on International Trade and Investment, Lopez heralded the country’s growth story and performance, the business policies and investment opportunities under the new Duterte leadership.

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