The Philippines Deposits the Instrument of Ratification of the PHL-EFTA Free Trade Agreement


From left: DFA Assistant Secretary Leo M. Herrera-Lim, DFA Undersecretary Manuel A.J. Teehankee, Norwegian Ambassador to the PH, H.E. Erik Førner, and Swiss Ambassador to the PH, H.E. Andrea Reichlin

23 March 2018 MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs deposited the Philippines’ Instrument of Ratification of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) on March 22. The deposit of the instrument of ratification is the final step to put the Agreement into effect.

Under Article 14.6 of the FTA, the Government of Norway acts as the Agreement’s Depositary. DFA Undersecretary for International Economic Relations, Manuel A.J. Teehankee, led the delivery of the Instrument of Ratification from the Philippines to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila. His Excellency, Erik Førner, Norway’s Ambassador to the Philippines, received the Instrument of Ratification on behalf of the EFTA States. Also present is Her Excellency Andrea Reichlin, the Swiss Federation’s Ambassador to the Philippines.

The PH-EFTA FTA is the Philippines’ second bilateral FTA. It was ratified by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on 8 December 2017, and concurred in by the Senate through Senate Resolution No. 93 on 5 March 2018. Per the Agreement, the FTA shall enter into force on the first day of the third month following the date on which at least one EFTA State and the Philippines have deposited their instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval with the Depositary. In this regard, the PH-EFTA FTA’s entry-into-force shall be on 1 July 2018. Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland have previously deposited their respective instruments of ratification.

“The eventual entry-into-force of the Agreement will provide a significant boost to economic activities between the Philippines and the EFTA States,” said Undersecretary Teehankee. “Several companies have approached us to register their strong interest in the implementation of the Agreement,” he further stated.

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is composed of the Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway, and the Swiss Confederation. END