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Philippines | Brussels, 17 March 2017

EU-Philippines trade negotiations

The EU is negotiating a free trade agreement with the Philippines. The aim is to conclude an agreement similar in coverage to those the EU achieved in its trade agreements with Singapore in 2014 and Vietnam in 2015. All three countries are members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The objective is for bilateral trade agreements with individual ASEAN countries to serve as building blocks towards a future region-to-region agreement between the EU and ASEAN.

EU-Philippines FTA

The EU officially launched negotiations with the Philippines on 22 December 2015. The first round of talks was held in Brussels in May 2016 and a second in Cebu City in the Philippines in February 2017.

As with its previous trade negotiations with other ASEAN countries, before launching talks the EU carried out a joint scoping exercise with the Philippines to determine the scope and the level of ambition of a future trade agreement. The exercise was successfully concluded in October 2015 and in November 2015 EU governments authorised the Commission to start negotiations.

On the EU side, negotiations are led by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Trade under the leadership of the Chief Negotiator Peter Berz, with the support of experts from other parts of the Commission.

Negotiations for a region-to-region trade agreement between the EU and ASEAN were launched in 2007 and paused in 2009 to give way to bilateral negotiations. The EU launched negotiations for bilateral trade agreements with:

  • Singapore and Malaysia – 2010
  • Vietnam –2012
  • Thailand – 2013
  • the Philippines – 2015
  • Indonesia –2016

The aim is for bilateral FTAs with individual ASEAN countries to serve as building blocks towards a future region-to-region agreement.

More information

EU text proposals:

The EU has submitted the following text proposals to the Philippines as a basis for discussion. These texts only constitute the EU's initial proposals for legal texts on topics in the EU-Philippines trade agreement and the EU reserves the right to make subsequent changes to the text by editing, supplementing or removing, at any time, all or part of the text. For explanatory purposes, text proposals are published accompanied by short factsheets on the different topics.

The actual text in the final agreement will be the result of negotiations between the EU and the Philippines. The full text of the final agreement will be made public once negotiations have been concluded – well in advance of its signature and ratification.

Reports of the negotiations rounds:
Second round, February 2017
First round, June 2016