Ireland backs EU-PH free trade agreement
MANILA -- Ireland supports the plan of the European Union (EU) and the Philippines to enter into a free trade agreement, as Ireland seeks to increase trade relations with the Philippines, an official said.
Irish Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin told reporters after a lecture organized by the EU Delegation to the Philippines yesterday, it is in the interest of Ireland for the EU to have an economic partnership agreement with the Philippines.
“We would like to increase our trade with the Philippines, but the focus is on a European trade agreement and indeed a European partnership agreement that will facilitate trade for all 27 countries in the region,” he said.
“I know a scoping agreement has already been exchanged between the EU and the Philippines, so both sides are anxious that would progress. But that would take its own organic time because these things are complicated,” he noted.
Last month, visiting members of the European Parliament said the regional bloc wants to start negotiations for a free trade agreement with the Philippines in the coming months as it considers the country an important partner in Asia.