Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said the Philippines free trade agreements (FTAs) have opened more opportunities overseas for the country’s construction industry.
Through the FTAs, the government has secured liberal arrangements in foreign markets for local construction services, Lopez said. These liberal arrangements in the construction sector include 100-percent foreign equity participation in construction activities, such as general construction work for buildings and civil engineering.
The Philippines’ participation in free trade agreements is providing an avenue to allow greater economic activity and job creation, especially with the construction industry. “FTAs offer a more stable, predictable, and fair environment for Filipino businesses and investments, including those in the construction and related engineering sector,” Lopez said in his keynote message.
The Philippines has free trade deals with Asean member states (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland), Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and South Korea.
“These presently provide Philippine construction-related companies the opportunity to do business in these markets and provide their services to these countries on a non-discriminatory basis,” he added.
The trade chief said exploring these opportunities overseas will also help construction-related enterprises to recover due to the impacts of the pandemic.