Posts tagged FTA
The Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is keen to expand business links in New Zealand after holding information sessions in Auckland and Wellington this week. It identified key export industries like ship-building, backroom engineering design, nursing/healthcare and other skilled business outsourcing functions as key targets for NZ investment.
Attendees were also interested in the food trade, with the Philippines offering mangoes, coco sugar and coconut oil and New Zealand looking to export its honey and ice cream. New Zealand’s 40,000 resident Filipinos would provide a ready-made market for exports.
The Philippines and New Zealand are already covered by the Asean Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), which began January 2010 and allows Philippine goods to enter New Zealand tax-free until 2020. The information sessions were part of a DTI project designed to highlight opportunities for the Philippines under current agreements, called the ‘Doing Business in Free Trade Areas’ (DBFTA) Program. As well as AANZFTA, the Philippines also has free trade agreements with China, Japan, Korea, and recently signed with India.
Malaysia is embarking on an ‘aggressive’ economic and government transformation that will be highly responsive to foreign investors’ needs, Prime Minister Najib Razak said to a gathering of over 600 industry leaders in South Korea this week.
The PM is on a three day working visit to promote investment opportunities in Malaysia, and his words have apparently been well received by South Korean business representatives. The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint business council and are exploring the possibility of a free trade agreement, on top of South Korea’s existing FTA with ASEAN.
South Korea is Malaysia’s seventh-largest foreign investor, with a US$2.7 billion stake and 700 companies with operations there. Trade between the two countries has doubled over the past decade, and Malaysia would like to see it double again. Major Korean interests are advanced electronics, petroleum, minerals and fabricated metal, with Malaysia especially keen to develop the high tech relationship, including biotech and pharmaceuticals. The Malaysia-Korea Business Council identified green technology, automotive and pharmaceuticals as the sectors which would benefit most from Korean collaborations.
As an Asian country that has successfully made the leap from poor to wealthy developed status over a relatively short period of time, South Korea has particular appeal to Malaysia. It aims to replicate South Korea’s growth and become a ‘fully developed’ nation itself by 2020, building on strengths in similar technology and manufacturing industries.
AFP/Channel NewsAsia reports the European Union is seeking free trade agreements with individual members of ASEAN after failing to secure a deal with the bloc as a whole. Although it is also negotiating with Malaysia and Singapore, the EU has its eyes on the Philippines in particular after proposing FTA negotiations last year that have not been formally acknowledged as yet.
Guy Ledoux, who is leading an EU trade mission to Manila, said “the ball is in the Philippines’ court” to begin the process. Philippines’ exports to the EU were worth some US$3.3 billion in 2009. The country is part of ASEAN’s internal free trade area but has not signed any agreements with countries outside the region on its own, putting it at risk of being left behind as others negotiate their own deals.
Malaysia and South Korea have pledged to double trade between the two countries within five years, hoping to create a separate Free Trade Agreement on top of South Korea’s existing 2007 deal with ASEAN.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the plans after meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, saying the South Korea-ASEAN agreement gave them a “strong impetus” to explore new possibilities. Trade between the two countries is projected to reach US$16 billion this year. Malaysia and South Korea could leverage each others’ strengths, not only in bilateral trade but also by working as partners to invest in third countries, according to both leaders.
source & article: Straits Times
video of PM Najib Razak’s announcement: YouTube
NewAsianist’s interest in South Korea keeps growing. Despite being a distance from our tropical main area of interest, it has an honorable position here as the biggest Asian Tiger and a stellar example of how a country can propel its economy into (and often past) the ‘developed world’ by setting the right conditions for growth. Its recent past of colonialism, war, political and economic hardship has set its focus firmly on the future. Surrounded by two economic behemoths and the worst kind of next door neighbor, South Korea has emerged to produce the ‘Miracle on the Han River’ as an inspirational and very Asian model of progress. On the surface, outsiders have watched the growth of high tech and full service cities, major events like the Olympics and World Cup, and Korean brands like Hyundai, Samsung and LG become household names. Beneath that, citizens have enjoyed rapid advances in health, quality of life and education. Nominal GDP is 15th in the world, and 12th by purchasing power parity (PPP).
Interesting economic news continues to come out of South Korea. Six new free economic zones (FEZ) are under construction as model business/lifestyle cities. This week, it ended three years of difficult negotiations with a “sweeping” free trade deal with the USA. The deal removes tariffs on 95% of traded goods and is the US’s largest and most open FTA since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico. The government is currently exploring other avenues of investment with parliamentary debate on tax breaks for Islamic sukuk. Tourism is increasing from other countries in the region thanks to the recent popularity of Korean TV, music and movies.
South Korea still faces obstacles unlike most other modern countries, as the past week’s military news from the peninsula has shown. But the people’s ability to push ahead and stay focused on progress is one of the things that makes the country so fascinating. We’ll continue to stay focused on South Korea too.