Philippines deposits RCEP instrument to ASEAN

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MANILA, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines has deposited its Instrument of Ratification (IoR) of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Friday.

Philippine ambassador to ASEAN Hjayceelyn Quintana handed over the depository of the RCEP agreement to ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn on Thursday. "The RCEP Agreement will enter into force for the Philippines on June 2, 2023," the ASEAN secretariat said.

In handing over the document, Quintana highlighted RCEP's "timely entry into force for the Philippines given the country's ongoing economic reforms."

"The Philippine participation in RCEP is important, especially as it will make our industries more competitive. It also complements existing government support programs with the measures committed in the free trade agreements (FTAs) to open up trade," she added.

The Philippine Senate ratified the RCEP in February.

The RCEP comprises 15 Asia-Pacific countries including the 10 ASEAN member states of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and their five trading partners, namely China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

It represents the world's largest free trade area covering about 30 percent of the world's population, as well as 30 percent of the world's economic and trade volume. Enditem

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