The Philippines’ free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea is getting closer to be formalized with the initial signing of the economic pact seen within the next two weeks. Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual has stated that “both sides are already undertaking legal review of the English text of the Philippine-South Korea FTA. Hopefully within two weeks, we can [initially sign] and both sides can then undertake the domestic [approvals] so the agreement can be officially and formally signed.”
An initial signing means that negotiating parties have agreed on the terms of the FTA, Pascual explained. In October last year, Manila and Seoul concluded their FTA negotiations after over two years of discussion. This was followed by “legal scrubbing” of the provisions of the FTA.
By the time FTA talks were done, the Philippines had secured zero tariffs for exports of bananas and canned pineapples to Korea, which are expected to take effect in five years and seven years, respectively.
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