Inquirer | 26 September 2016
PH to engage Mexico in trade talks
By: Amy R. Remo
The Philippines is eyeing to forge a free trade agreement with Mexico to further deepen the bilateral trade and investment ties between the two countries.
Based on a meeting with Mexican Ambassador to the Philippines Julio Camarena Villaseñor last week, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Mexico was highly bullish of its prospects in the country and is looking at increased engagements locally.
At present, some Mexican companies already have bigger investments in the Philippines compared to other bigger economies in the Asian region, including China and Japan.
“We will pursue the deepening of our ties. Mexican companies like (building materials company) Cemex and (beverage firm) Femsa already have big investments here. The Mexican ambassador met with us because there are some companies that are willing to look into [opportunities] in the Philippines now and that’s the reason why they would like to pursue better economic partnership with us,” Lopez said on the sidelines of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (Ejap) Awards Night on Friday.
The goal, according to Lopez, was to eventually pursue an FTA, as part of the government’s thrust to strengthen its bilateral ties with strategic partners.
“We will then start the process. On our end, we will be studying the pros and cons of by doing a feasibility study on how an FTA can help in increasing investments and enhancing trade (between the Philippines and Mexico),” he added.
Lopez also disclosed the Department of Trade and Industry was also looking at sending a Philippine trade and investment mission to Mexico by next year to look at the potential business opportunities the Latin American country could offer.
Mexico has been identified in the past as one of the country’s potential FTA partners, including Canada, Peru, and Chile. These four countries were among the economies that have earlier expressed interest to forge separate FTAs with the Philippines.