Date Published:
Dec 12, 2022
Focus Area(s):
RPS 2022-06

This paper reviews the participation of the Philippines in services trade agreements at the multilateral, regional, and bilateral levels. It also discusses the government’s institutional arrangements for services trade negotiations. To harness the benefits of free trade agreements and increase market opportunities for the country, the government should judiciously exercise policy space in binding commitments, involve various stakeholders early in the services negotiation cycle, clarify and delineate roles of relevant agencies, and capacitate the private sector, particularly micro, small, and medium enterprises, to engage in trade in services more actively. To strengthen the governance structure of trade negotiations in services, lead coordination must be consolidated in one agency instead of the current setup, where the role is split between two agencies depending on the trade partner and the scope of the agreement.

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