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The Philippines


Negotiations for an EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement were launched on 22 December 2015.

The FTA will develop a key aspect of our overall relationship with the Philippines that is based on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed in 2012.

The aim is to conclude an agreement that covers a broad range of issues, including tariffs, non-tariff barriers to trade, trade in services and investment, as well as trade aspects of public procurement, intellectual property, competition and sustainable development.

Trade picture

  • With bilateral trade in goods amounting to €12.8 billion in 2016, the EU ranked as the Philippines' fourth largest trading partner, while the Philippines was EU's sixth largest trading partner in the region.
  • EU exports to the Philippines are dominated by machinery (18.9%), transport equipment ( 16.8%), chemicals ( 14.1%), food products (13.8%), and electronic components ( 13.7%), while the Philippines' main exports to the EU are office and telecommunication equipment ( 45.8%), machinery ( 13.9%), food products (12. 0%), and optical and photographic instruments ( 10.5%)
  • Bilateral trade in services between the EU and the Philippines reached € 4.2 billion in 2015, while EU foreign direct investment stock in the Philippines amounted to €6.1 billion for the same year, making the EU the largest investor in the Philippines

EU-Philippines: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2015-2017, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2015 7.0 6.2 -0.8
2016 6.7 6.2 -0.5
2017 7.6 6.6 -1.0

EU-Philippines: Trade in services

Trade in services 2014-2016, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2014 2.0 1.5 -0.5
2015 2.7 2.0 -0.7
2016 2.5 2.1 -0.5

EU-Philippines: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2016, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2016 1.8 9.1 7.2

Date of retrieval: 16/04/2018

More statistics on Philippines

EU and the Philippines

The relationship between the European Union and the Republic of the Philippines is a longstanding one, which has broadened and deepened remarkably in recent years. Europe's dialogue with ASEAN began in the late 1970s, and was formalised in 1980 with the signature of an EC Cooperation Agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). For many years this agreement was the primary legal framework for EU relations with the Philippines.

Discussions on economic and political issues of common interest, at both ministerial and official level, have been held regularly since then. In addition, bilateral dialogues with the Philippines have included periodic reviews of political, economic and cooperation issues in regular Senior Officials Meetings.

Once in force, the EU-Philippines partnership cooperation agreement signed in July 2012, will provide the legal framework for further engagement and cooperation between the EU and the Philippines on a broad range of areas, including political dialogue, trade, energy, transport, human rights, education, science and technology, justice asylum and migration. The FTA we are negotiating will develop the trade aspects of our bilateral relations with the Philippines.

Since 25 December 2014 the Philippines has enjoyed enhanced trade preferences with the EU under the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences plus (GSP+). Before that, the Philippines was a beneficiary of the standard GSP scheme.

The Philippines and ASEAN

The Philippines is one of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the third largest economy in the region and, with a population of over 100 million, the second biggest market in ASEAN.

When completed, the ASEAN Economic Community will constitute the third largest market in the world, with over 600 million potential consumers. Ensuring better access for EU exporters to the dynamic ASEAN market is a priority for the EU. ASEAN market is a priority for the EU.

Taken as a whole, ASEAN would rank as the EU's fourth largest trading partner, after the United States, China and Switzerland. In 2015, bilateral trade in goods and services between the EU and ASEAN reached over €280 billion.

Since identifying ASEAN as a priority region in the 2006 Global Europe Communication, the EU has been actively engaged with the region. Negotiations for a region-to-region FTA with ASEAN were launched in 2007 and paused in 2009 to give way to a bilateral format of negotiations. These bilateral FTAs were conceived as building blocks towards a future region-to-region agreement.

Bilateral negotiations were launched with Singapore and Malaysia in 2010, with Vietnam in 2012, with Thailand in 2013, with the Philippines in 2015 and with Indonesia in 2016. The talks with Singapore and Vietnam were successfully concluded in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Trading with Philippines