Manila, July 31 : The Philippines and the European Union (EU) on Monday agreed to revitalise trade and relaunch free trade agreements (FTA) talks.
The two sides forged the new cooperation during a meeting between Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Manila, reports Xinhua news agency.
As the first-ever EU Commission president to visit the Southeast Asian country in nearly six decades, von der Leyen said her visit signals accelerating “a new era of cooperation” between the EU and the Philippines, vowing to bring the bilateral trade relations “to the next level”.
For his part, Marcos said in a speech that he discussed with the EU chief “economic relations with particular focus on revitalising trade” between the two regions.
Marcos welcomed resuming negotiations for Philippine-EU free trade, adding that his administration would work with the bloc’s experts to achieve the bilateral FTA, the first round of which took place in 2016 in the Philippines.
Marcos also thanked the EU’s long-term support for his country, particularly on the EU’s recognition of a seafarer certificate issued by the Philippines that will benefit over 50,000 Filipino seafarers working onboard EU-flagged vessels.
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