DFA deposits EFTA-PH accord’s ratification instrument

MANILA -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Friday it has deposited the country's instrument of ratification of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) on March 22.

The deposit of the instrument of ratification is the final step to put the agreement into effect. Under Article 14.6 of the FTA, the government of Norway acts as the Agreement's Depositary.

DFA Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Manuel Teehankee led the delivery of the ratification instrument to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila and was received by Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Erik FA�rner on behalf of the EFTA States.

The Philippine-EFTA FTA is the country's second bilateral FTA to date. It was ratified by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Dec. 8, 2017, and concurred by the Senate through Senate Resolution No. 93 last March 5.

Under the agreement, the FTA shall take effect on the first day of the third month following the date, on which at least one EFTA State and the Philippines have deposited their instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval with the Depositary.

The DFA said the Philippine-EFTA FTA's enforcement will be on July 1, 2018. Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland have previously deposited their respective instruments of ratification.

The eventual entry-into-force of the agreement will provide a significant boost to economic activities between the Philippines and the EFTA States, said Teehankee.

Several companies have approached us to register their strong interest in the implementation of the agreement, he added.

Also present during DFA's delivery of the instrument was Swiss Federation Ambassador to the Philippines Andrea Reichlin.

Earlier, Reichlin said that having a free trade deal provides entrepreneurial incentives, as well as the highest political commitment for signatories to move forward in the best interest of their respective citizens and in managing global commerce.

The EFTA is composed of the Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway, and the Swiss Confederation. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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