For EFTA-Philippines trade statistics, see EFTA Trade Statistics Instrument a. Text – The merchandise trade provisions1 of the Free Trade Agreement contain existing WTO rules and obligations with respect to areas governing trade in goods. However, the two sides agreed on additional disciplines on export tariffs, quantitative restrictions, subsidies and countervailing measures, global safeguard measures and modification of concessions. The agreement contains detailed provisions on trade facilitation (Annex VI), including certain „WTO plus” provisions. The provisions apply, inter alia, to advance rulings and limit the possibility of new taxes and fees. As a far-reaching agreement, the free trade agreement includes trade in goods, trade in services, investment, competition, protection of intellectual property rights, government procurement, trade and sustainable development. In the area of trade in goods, EFTA removes all tariffs on industrial products from the entry into force of the agreement, while the Philippines will lower or phase out its tariffs on the vast majority of these products. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) will enter into force on 1 June 2018 for Switzerland and the Philippines. Last March, the Philippine Senate ratified the free trade agreement with EFTA as part of the country`s strategy to gain a greater foothold in the European market. EFTA brings together some of the richest nations in the world: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. After its implementation, the agreement will be the second bilateral free trade agreement between the Philippines after the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) in 2008. The Investment Chapter (Chapter 7) defines the obligation of the Parties to authorize investments by other Contracting Parties in accordance with their laws and regulations.

It also expresses the Parties` concern to provide investors from other Parties with stable, non-discriminatory and transparent investment conditions and stresses the importance of investment promotion. In addition, the Parties recognise that it is inappropriate to promote investment by relaxing health, safety and environmental standards. Finally, the Chapter provides for a review of investment issues within five years of the entry into force of the Agreement, taking into account the treatment accorded by a Contracting Party to non-Parties in other free trade agreements. The Chapter on Trade in Services (Chapter 6) closely follows the approach of the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). It covers trade in all services sectors among the four types of supply. Separate Annexes on Financial Services (Annex XIII), Telecommunications Services (Annex XIV), Free Movement of Natural Persons (Annex XV), Maritime Transport Services (Annex XVI) and Energy-Related Services (Annex XVII) complete the Chapter with additional sectoral disciplines. The lists of specific obligations and derogations from the most-favoured-nation regime of the Contracting Parties are set out in Annexes XI and XII respectively. These schedules are regularly reviewed in order to further liberalise trade in services between the two parties. Ensuring better access for EU exporters to the dynamic ASEAN market is a priority for the EU. Negotiations for an EU-ASEAN trade and investment agreement between the regions started in 2007 and were interrupted by mutual agreement in 2009 to become a bilateral negotiating format.

The Agreement contains provisions on trade defence measures (Articles 2.12 to 2.15), namely subsidies and countervailing measures, anti-dumping measures, global safeguard measures and temporary safeguard measures. In addition, the free trade agreement will improve the Philippines` position as the main source of imports of these products through EFTA, given that the Philippines and other ASEAN neighbouring countries export to EFTA. . . .