Date Published:
Jan 22, 2024
Focus Area(s):
RPS 2024-01

This study investigates how the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) can deepen the contributions of trade in services in the Philippine economy through the commitments made and limitations imposed. It reviews and assesses the specific commitments of ASEAN's free trade agreement partners joining the RCEP in terms of trade in services, particularly on market access and national treatment. These commitments were compared, and their relevance was evaluated to the needs of the Philippines to determine the benefits it can reap from RCEP. The analysis suggests that the RCEP is a marginal regional trading arrangement that should be viewed as a compilation of previous regional trading agreements for key economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Because of the additional commitments made by the signatory economies, specific opportunities in trade in services may be valuable for the Philippines. However, challenges exist in the form of market access and national treatment limitations, which the Philippines must view as an opportunity to enhance its domestic productivity.

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