MANILA, Philippines – The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Phils. Inc. (JCCIPI) joined calls for the Philippine Senate’s immediate concurrence of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement in a statement released Monday, 24 January 2022.

The chamber stressed that ratifying RCEP would increase economic activity and help the economy recover from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The JCCIPI firmly believes that the ratification of the RCEP would provide an immense boost to the country’s economic activity and further strengthen the intra-region free trade system, especially as a recovery mechanism from the impact brought by the pandemic which has made international cooperation on trade more important than ever. A guaranteed seat at the table in helping structure the rules for multilateral trade is more than a positive note for the country.”

It also expressed confidence that the ratification of RCEP, in tandem with other economic reform measures, would make the Philippines a popular destination for Japanese investments.

“The JCCIPI is strongly convinced that the Philippines will be an investment destination for Japanese businesses and that of other countries. The JCCIPI welcomed the heightened interest of the Japanese business community. The approval of the Senate of the proposed amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA) last December and the highly anticipated approval of the amendments to the Foreign Investment Act and the Public Service Act are also strong factors that will help in the Philippine government’s efforts to reform its foreign investment regime, revitalizing the domestic and international trade activities, post-pandemic,” it added.

The RCEP Agreement is an economic treaty brokered by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which the Philippines is a member, and its dialogue partners – Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. It is estimated to be the largest trade bloc in the world, representing 29% of global GDP[1]. ♦

Date of Release: 26 January 2022