Philippine seeks strong ties with Pacific rim
The Philippines hopes to strengthen relations with Pacific rim economies at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, in Lima, Peru.
“In Apec, our goal is cooperation and free trade—how economies in the region can help each other in collectively ensuring free trade and implementing trade facilitation measures, with the aid of technology, to help more of our [micro, small and medium enterprises],” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said before leaving for Peru on Tuesday night.
The strategy is a continuation of the Philippine push for MSMEs when it played host to Apec meetings last year.
On the sidelines of the Apec meetings in Lima, Lopez will meet with trade ministers from Russia, Chile, Hong Kong and Peru for talks to boost cooperation and increase bilateral trade and investment.
This year’s talks could lead to the creation of joint economic commissions that would facilitate bilateral exchanges among member economies.
Such efforts could lead to free trade agreements, although these take time and are usually subject to further discussions, Lopez said.
He said Apec members had a long way to go before they could negotiate and agree on the proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.
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