Manila, 22 January 2022 (TDI): The Senate of the Philippines has been urged to adopt the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by a number of organizations including the Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Philippines (ANZCHAM). The Philippines signed this partnership in November 2020.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

The RCEP is a treaty organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is a free trade agreement between the members of ASEAN and some additional members. It includes Laos, South Korea, Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and Malaysia.

It is considered to be one of the largest trade blocs in the world with it representing 30% of the global GDP. The Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, and Philippine Council for Foreign Relations all expressed their urgency for the country to join the partnership as it presents very good prospects for the economy and producers.

“And like in the other free trade agreements the country has joined, the overall economic gains in terms of net job creation, economic growth, and price stabilization will well outweigh the costs,” said the groups.

Additionally, ANZCHAM said that RCEP will be pivotal in supporting the countries economy as the pandemic continues to ravage it. The Philippines, especially its export industry is severely hit by the pandemic. As a result, ANZCHAM advised the country to ratify the RCEP. If it doesn’t, the country stands to miss out if this groundbreaking free trade agreement. Australia and New Zealand have already ratified the free trade agreement.

As per the statement of Daniel Alexander, President of ANZCHAM, the organization has encouraged the Senate to prioritize concurrence before the adjournment of the session in February. Adoption of the partnership will increase foreign investor confidence in the country which will greatly help revitalize the economy.