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The Philippines


Negotiations for an EU-Philippines trade and investment agreement were launched on 22 December 2015. 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.

The trade and investment agreement will develop a key aspect of the EU's overall relationship with the Philippines that is based on the EU-Philippines Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation that entered into force in March 2018.

The Philippines is a member of the WTO since 1995 and enjoys enhanced trade preferences with the EU under the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences plus (GSP+).

Trade picture

  • Trade in goods between the two partners equalled € 14.9 billion in 2019 while bilateral trade in services between the EU and the Philippines reached € 3.7 billion in 2018.
  • The EU foreign direct investment stock in the Philippines reached €13.8 billion in the same year, making the EU the largest foreign investor in the Philippines.
  • The EU is the Philippines’ fourth largest trading partner, accounting for almost 9% of the country’s total trade in 2018 (after China, Japan and the US). The Philippines is the EU's 39th largest trading partner globally, accounting for 0.4% of the EU’s total trade.
  • EU exports to the Philippines are dominated by machinery, transport equipment, chemicals and food products while the Philippines' main exports to the EU are office and telecommunication equipment, machinery, food products, and optical and photographic instruments.

EU-Philippines: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2017-2019, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2017 7.0 6.0 -1.0
2018 7.3 7.1 -0.2
2019 7.5 7.4 -0.0

EU-Philippines: Trade in services

Trade in services 2016-2018, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2016 2.1 1.8 -0.3
2017 1.9 1.9 0.0
2018 1.9 1.8 -0.2

EU-Philippines: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2018, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2018 2.1 13.8 11.7

Unless otherwise mentioned “EU” concerns for all indicated years the current European Union of 27 Member States.

Date of retrieval: 22/04/2020

More statistics on Philippines

EU and the Philippines

A Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) has been carried out in support of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between the European Union and the Philippines. The SIA seeks to assess how trade and trade-related provisions in a future FTA could potentially impact economic, social, human rights and environmental elements in each trading partner and in other relevant countries.

To learn more about the SIA, go to the dedicated EU-Philippines SIA website.

Since December 2014, the Philippines enjoys enhanced trade preferences with the EU under the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences plus (GSP+). The special incentive arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance GSP+ grants full removal of tariffs on two thirds of all product categories, aiming to support sustainable development and good governance.

In order to maintain GSP+, the Philippines is subject to a regular monitoring of its obligation to the effective implementation of 27 core international conventions on human and labour rights, environmental protection and good governance.

The Philippines and ASEAN

The Philippines is one of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the fifth largest economy in the region in terms of GDP and the EU’s 7th largest trading partner in ASEAN. The countries as a group are the EU's third largest trading partner outside Europe, after the US and China.

The ASEAN region is a dynamic market with some 640 million consumers and with a population of over 100 million, the Philippines is the second biggest market in ASEAN.

The EU co-operates closely with ASEAN as a whole. Co-operation is maintained through the EU-ASEAN Dialogue, which includes discussions on trade and investment issues at ministerial and senior economic official level.

Ensuring better access for EU exporters to the dynamic ASEAN market is a priority for the EU. Negotiations for a region-to-region trade and investment agreement between the EU and ASEAN were launched in 2007 and paused by mutual agreement in 2009 to give way to a bilateral format of negotiations.

These bilateral trade and investment agreements were conceived as building blocks towards a future region-to-region agreement.

More information on ASEAN

Trading with Philippines