Philippines wants economic deal
MANILA - Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo has
expressed hope that an economic agreement with Japan will be
signed this year in time with the 50th anniversary celebration
of Philippines-Japan diplomatic ties.
At the joint news conference that formally launched the
Philippines-Japan Friendship Year 2006, Romulo said the signing
of Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA)
would further strengthen economic ties between the two
The agreement will make a major transformation in the way the
two countries do business with each other.
"We shall be economic partners as close and solid as never
before," Romulo said.
The agreement aims at promoting a freer trans-border flow of
goods, people, services and capital between the Philippines and
JPEPA also targets a comprehensive economic partnership in
intellectual property, competition policy, improvement of
business environment and bilateral cooperation in such fields as
human resources development, information and communications
technology and small and medium enterprises.
"Our hope is that, as we tap more and more the manifold
complementary strengths of our two economies, we realize greater
direct benefits for our peoples and thus pave the way for deeper
people-to-people understanding and friendship," Romulo said.
Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Ryuichiro Yamazaki,
meanwhile, noted the stronger relations between his country and
"Our bilateral relations have advanced in a manner that they are
now closer than ever before," the ambassador said.
He cited the two countries "shared values of democracy, freedom
and human rights" as one factor that fortifies their
"We are also neighbors sharing the same sea-lanes but we do not
have any territorial or maritime disputes," Yamazaki added.