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[MEDIA RELEASE] Joint Foreign Chambers Encourage the Senate to ratify RCEP

May 23,2022


The seven undersigned members of the Joint Foreign Chambers in the Philippines urge the Philippine Senate to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement. In doing so, the 18th Congress will build on its remarkable record of approving new laws of immense benefit to the national economy including Train 1, CREATE, E-vehicles, and amendments to the Public Services, Retail Trade Liberalization, and Foreign Investments Acts.

In addition to its large workforce and advantageous geographical location, another important reason many of our members have invested in the Philippines is the expanding access they can enjoy under trade agreements which the Philippines has with its ASEAN and regional neighbors and other countries. We have encouraged the Philippines to apply to the CPTPP, and today we are asking the Philippine Senate to ratify the RCEP so that the large network of foreign markets already accessible to exports from the Philippines will be further expanded. When this happens a large number of our current investors will invest more, and new investors from Australia, Europe, New Zealand, North America, and Northeast Asia, will be attracted, creating many thousands of new jobs. RCEP also offers other new advantages for exporters located in the Philippines that will benefit our member companies.

RCEP is the largest trade bloc in the world, representing 30% of global GDP. The Philippines cannot afford to leave itself out of the bloc since being a member will bring economic benefits that will hasten recovery from the scars, higher debt, and other damage caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Studies show the Philippine economy will grow at a slower pace without membership in RCEP. Nobody wants this to happen.

RCEP is already in force in Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea, Laos, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.

Honorable members of the Senate, we appeal to you to vote to approve the RCEP agreement when you return to session this week.

The JFC is a coalition of the American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese, Korean chambers and PAMURI. We represent over 3,000 member companies engaged in around $100 billion worth of trade and some $30 billion worth of investments in the Philippines. The JFC supports and promotes open international trade, increased foreign investment, and improved conditions for business to benefit both the Philippines and the countries the JFC members represent.


Approved by the following:

American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Inc.
Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc.
Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters