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EU business council sees market access, red tape reduction, PPPs as keys to growth

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the European Union-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) views enhanced market access, reduced bureaucracy and public-private partnerships (PPPs) as playing an outsized role in growing the region’s economies.

In a statement, the DTI said Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual met with the EU-ABC on Monday to discuss the Philippine government’s commitment to strengthen ties with the EU.

“Both the DTI and EU-ABC recognized the shared responsibility of streamlining trade processes within ASEAN and between the regions to improve market access and reduce bureaucratic barriers,” the DTI said on Tuesday.

“They also acknowledged that PPPs are crucial in fostering inclusive growth and long-term prosperity,” it added.

Mr. Pascual said that the government recognizes the role of the private sector, particularly in areas of infrastructure development, sustainability, and human capital.

“We aim to position the Philippines as a dynamic and attractive investment destination by creating an enabling environment for private sector expansion,” he said.

“Your contributions to infrastructure development, sustainability initiatives, and investment in human capital are vital to boosting productivity and driving growth,” he told the council.

Mr. Pascual said that the resumption of negotiations for a free trade agreement with the EU promise enhanced trade and more economic opportunity.

“We have a shared responsibility to streamline trade processes within ASEAN and between our two regions, focusing on improving market access and the movement of goods and services,” he said.

“Our focus is clear: to enhance market access, streamline the flow of goods and services, and reduce bureaucratic barriers. Doing so will create a more conducive environment for trade and investment that benefits businesses and consumers alike,” he added.

The EU-ABC is leading a trade mission to the Philippines on May 6–9.

According to Chris Humphrey, executive director of the EU-ABC, the delegation is composed of 50 representatives from the information and communications technology, health, transportation, financial services, agriculture and food, and fast-moving consumer goods industries. — Justine Irish D. Tabile