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EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement

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In March 2024, the EU and the Philippines agreed to resume negotiations for an ambitious, modern and balanced free trade agreement (FTA), with sustainability at its core.

This confirms the importance of the Indo-Pacific region for the EU's trade agenda, paving the way for deeper trade ties with the Philippines, a key partner for the EU in the Indo-Pacific, and further strengthening the EU’s strategic engagement with this fast-growing region. The resumption of the FTA negotiations is also in line with 2021's EU Indo-Pacific Strategy.

The EU is working towards building a framework of trade agreements with the members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The objective is for bilateral trade agreements with individual ASEAN countries to serve as building blocks towards a future region-to-region agreement between the EU and ASEAN. 

Negotiations for an EU-Philippines trade and investment agreement were launched on 22 December 2015. The second round of negotiations between the EU and the Philippines took place in February 2017, but the talks were then put on hold. In July 2023, the EU and the Philippines announced their intention to begin an extensive technical stocktaking exercise with a view to assess if conditions were right for potentially resuming negotiations for an FTA. The EU and the Philippines announced the resumption of negotiations for the FTA in March 2024.

The EU aims for a comprehensive and modern FTA with the Philippines that includes:

  • Ambitious market access for goods, services, investment and government procurement;
  • the removal of obstacles to digital trade and trade in energy and raw materials, thereby supporting the digital and green transitions;
  • swift and effective sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) procedures;
  • sustainable food systems (SFS);
  • the protection of intellectual property rights including Geographical Indications (GIs), and;
  • robust and enforceable disciplines on trade and sustainable development (TSD): in line with the Commission’s TSD review Communication of June 2022, supporting high levels of protection for workers’ rights, for the environment, and the achievement of ambitious climate goals.

A Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) has been carried out in support of FTA negotiations between the EU and the Philippines. The SIA seeks to assess how trade and trade-related provisions in a future FTA could potentially impact economic, social, human rights and environmental elements in each trading partner and in other relevant countries.

More on the EU-Philippines SIA

As with its previous trade negotiations with other ASEAN countries, before launching talks the EU carried out a joint scoping exercise with the Philippines to determine the scope and the level of ambition of the future trade agreement. The exercise was successfully concluded in October 2015. In November 2015, EU governments authorised the Commission to start negotiations.

On the EU side, negotiations are led by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade, with the support of experts from other parts of the Commission.

About the agreement

Textual proposals and negotiation round reports

More on Trade relations

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