Trade and Investment


Leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific nations ended their annual summit Sunday with a call to resist protectionism amid signs of increased free-trade skepticism, highlighted by the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election.

Several US allies took aim at Donald Trump’s trade policies as China’s president made an impassioned call against the sort of protectionism favored by the president-elect at a summit of Asian-Pacific leaders on Saturday

President Duterte took advantage of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit recently in Peru and met separately with Chinese President Xi Jin Ping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he would encourage more investors to do business in the Philippines in his attendance at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Lima, Peru.


Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez has expressed hope for the start of formal negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States in one to two years, noting that talks have so far remained “exploratory.”


March 2019

The Philippines wants to expand trade and investment ties with Malaysia by taking advantage of opportunities available in agriculture, manufacturing, technology and innovation, halal and infrastructure.

APRIL 2019

Ph raised the need to review and eliminate trade-inhibiting non-tariff barriers (NTBs) at a recent meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) ministers, the trade department said.

TALKS for a free trade agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the European Union (EU) have taken a back seat to monitoring of the country’s commitments under a preferential trade arrangement it bagged from the bloc in December 2014, according to a source from the European Commission (EC).

The Philippines will keep the same market access it has with the United Kingdom regardless if Brexit ends with a deal or not, the country’s trade chief insisted on Friday.

Malacañang signed the P633 billion worth of new deals with China. Manila’s business delegation to the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing signed 19 business deals, majority of which cover energy, infrastructure, food, telecommunications, tourism, and economic zone development with Chinese firms.

MAY 2019

Chile will be hosting two major summits by the end of this year: APEC 2019 and COP 25 on Climate Change, which highlights the importance my country attaches to multilateralism as a driver in enhancing commitments to build a more equitable and sustainable planet.

Chile and the Philippines may finally sign a free trade agreement next year, a move expected to boost economic relations between the 2 countries, Chilean ambassador said Thursday.

The Philippines joined 20 other economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in expressing support for robust outcomes of priorities of host Chile for APEC, deepening regional integration, as well as sustaining support for the multilateral trading system as embodied in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

With news of possible escalation of trade hostilities between the US and China, it would be good to look at possible trade processes and remedies that can be resorted to by the Philippines in case the conflict creeps into our economy.

June 2019

Trade – once a key driver of growth for the Pacific Rim region – is slowing, and its moderation is affecting the economy, says the newest APEC Regional Trends Analysis, or ARTA.

Barbara Chapman has been appointed chair of the CEO Summit Committee for APEC 2021, New Zealand Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced on Thursday.

In a joint statement, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee “affirmed their common goal to achieve a comprehensive and future oriented FTA.” With this affirmation, they announced the official start of FTA negotiations with the objective of concluding the trade deal by November.

Southeast Asian leaders will dissect the impact of the US-China tariff war this weekend at a Bangkok summit, with Beijing determined to drive forward a trade pact sweeping in 40 percent of global commerce — but excluding America.

Southeast Asian leaders gathered in Bangkok on Saturday determined to drive forward the world’s largest commercial pact, with the trade war between the US and China clouding the outlook for their export-led economies.

IF the Philippines intends to boost shipments and export freely to Canada, then it has to enlist in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a diplomat said on Thursday.

JULY 2019

Senior business representatives from around the Asia-Pacific voiced strong support this week in the Chinese city of Hangzhou for the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a rules-based multilateral trading system. The group also stressed the importance of incorporating policies to mitigate and prevent negative climate change impacts, most notably on the most vulnerable communities. In addition, they underscored the enormous potential benefits from the digital economy and innovation for businesses, especially for women and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the region.

Simmering U.S.-China trade tensions and rising protectionism are threatening the global economy, with efforts to persuade the two countries to resolve their differences being largely ignored.

The Philippine government will resume the centuries-old practice of barter trading at the border areas of Mindanao, Malaysia, and Indonesia next month, an official of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said

The Philippines has banned imports of pigs and pig products from Laos due to an African swine fever outbreak, it said in a filing published by the World Trade Organization on Tuesday

THE ITALIAN government has offered public and private assistance for the development of the Bangsamoro Region, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said.

TRADE Secretary Ramon M. Lopez underscored the need to increase Philippine halal products in domestic and export markets to maximize the opportunities of a growing global halal market amounting to $2.6 trillion.

THE Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) and Ratio Petroleum Ltd. of Israel have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for them to explore and develop oil and gas resources in the Philippines.

THE Philippines will gain from the fallout of the US-China trade war as some American companies are relocating to the country, while those already in the country are expanding their operations, the country’s envoy to Washington said.


Foreign direct investment (FDI) is important because the benefits to the destination economy are not limited to capital infusion but also technology transfer, management systems, sources of more production inputs, and extra access to foreign markets. Thus, Japanese FDIs coming to the Philippines not only bring in Japanese capital and technology, but also additional access to Japan and other export markets.

The Philippines’ ambitious plan to roll out more big-ticket infrastructure projects through the “Build, Build, Build” program will shield the domestic economy from a global slowdown partly caused by trade tensions between the US and China, UK-based Oxford Economics said.

MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has created a new unit to monitor the entry of hazardous waste in the country, the agency said in a statement Saturday.


Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) said passage of a Duterte administration priority measure amending the Republic Act 7042 or the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) of 1991 to exclude the “practice of professions” from the Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL) can mean more jobs for Filipinos.

The DTI-EMB continues its active engagement with the Philippines’s South Asian neighbors, particularly in India. The said country is among the fastest-growing major economies in the world and is expected to become the third-largest consumer economy by 2025. Aside from being one of the most inhabited nations, India’s favorable demographics make it an ideal trading partner—an increasing young population, expanding middle-class and rising income levels.

After World War II, Asia emerged from years of conflict and centuries of colonialism. The United States quickly became the main guarantor of regional security, signing bilateral defense treaties and establishing preferential trade and investment relationships with its Asian allies – in particular the Philippines, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Pakistan. In the decades since, Asia has reaped substantial development gains from open trade, investment, and multilateral cooperation, enabling the region to become a leading global trade hub.

The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third reading a priority measure amending Republic Act 7042, or the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) of 1991, to exclude the “practice of professions” on the Foreign Investment Negative List

Korea is set to conduct an onsite inspection and accreditation of new poultry manufacturing facilities in the Philippines following the resumption of chicken exports to South Korea.

THE finance department has formally proposed import liberalization for the sugar industry modeled on the opening up of the rice market, signaling a showdown for another key commodity as economic managers sought to make prices more competitive.

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendations of trade and economic officials to curb the negative effects of the trade dispute between the United States and China, Malacañang said on Thursday.


It came as a surprise that during a visit to the Philippines in November 2017, President Trump announced that he and President Duterte have agreed to negotiate an FTA. Given the current global trade environment rising protectionism and the US-China trade war, it would seem that the Philippines would benefit from such an arrangement by giving it a competitive leg up on its competitors

Japan has pledged to extend technical assistance for the development of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and its surrounding areas, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

To consolidate its emergence as a powerful trading bloc, ASEAN member states have been promoting special economic zones (SEZ) as a cornerstone for efforts to encourage more foreign investment.

However, investors looking to take advantage of SEZs in ASEAN should seek to develop a base understanding before assessing factors that may impact their business. SEZs in each country comes with their own strengths and weaknesses; investors need to understand the profile of SEZs in each country

The Senate opened plenary deliberations Monday on a proposed law to further promote foreign investments by updating the “Foreign Invesments Act of 1991.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the Philippine delegation’s sales to the CIIE grew more than twice to $300 million this year, from $124 million last year. The country’s best sellers at the trade show were bananas, pineapples, mangoes, durian, as well as processed fruits and nuts and coconut-based products.

The Philippines enjoyed a surge in Chinese investment pledges last year while it also benefited slightly in the area of trade amid tensions between the United States and China, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

OVER P200 million worth of irrigation system and post-harvest facilities funded by the Japanese government is seen to benefit more than 1,500 farmers in the towns of Narra and Aborlan in Palawan

THE Philippines failed to settle its dispute with Thailand over a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on cigarette shipments during the recent Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit.



The Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are working on an agreement that will safeguard the investments of both economies, which the country’s trade chief expects will result in an influx of Emirati capital.


The Philippines may have to brace for higher export costs to the United States this year in case US President Donald Trump takes away the low tariffs currently being enjoyed under Washington’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), according to Maybank Kim Eng Research.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez has kept his cool as he sent a very diplomatic letter to his Thailand counterpart on hopes the fellow ASEAN will finally honor its obligation to comply with the ruling of the WTO to remove its discriminatory taxes on Philippine cigarettes.

PROJECTS approved by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the first three years of the Duterte administration nearly doubled compared to those approved in the previous administration.

The Asian Development Bank has signed a $50 million loan agreement to spur internet use in the Asia-Pacific region, with half the financing coming from a fund supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency

The Embassy of Canada is pleased to announce that 11 organizations from across the Philippines will receive support from the Canada Fund this year.

The Philippines and the US are expected to finalize this year the bilateral trade of blueberries and pineapples.  The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) said the entry of US blueberries and the expanded entry of Philippine pineapples are in their final stages.


The Department of Agriculture (DA) has issued a temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds and its products from Ukraine following an outbreak of an avian virus in the European country

MARCH 2020

THAILAND has stonewalled attempts to resolve its dispute with the Philippines over a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on cigarette shipments, continuing the friction between the two countries.

The bill that would legalize 100% foreign ownership of public utilities in the Philippines may have been passed by the House, but several ranking legislators strongly opposed what they described as an “anti-Filipino” measure.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on final reading a measure that seeks to open up the country’s retail trade to foreign competition by lowering the capital requirements for foreign retailers

Reefer Express Line of the Filipinas Inc. (Reefer Filipinas), based in Davao, has announced it will launch a direct shipping route between Mindanao and the Middle East

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) has approved the Philippine Customs Modernization Project

APRIL 2020

The ports in Manila are almost filled to the brim as cargo owners and consignees—apparently chafing from the initial confusion over Covid-19 lockdown rules that spawned indiscriminate local blockades—are not heeding calls to withdraw cleared, ready-for-delivery and overstaying cargo.

More than half of German-Philippine businesses are likely to make fewer or put off any investment in the next 12 months given the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic to operations, according to a survey of the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI).

MAY 2020

The European Union (EU) continues to push for more trade deals with major Asean economies despite making slow progress following its consecutive successes with Singapore and Vietnam last year.