Japan team due for JPEPA talks

Published by rudy Date posted on April 1, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – A team from the Japanese government will be heading to Manila to discuss the renegotiation of the Japan Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

In an interview, Trade Assistant Secretary Ramon Kabigting said that the Japanese contingent would like to discuss issues on automotive. On the other hand, the Philippines would like to bring up the issue on nurses.

During their trip to Japan in March, the Philippine contingent has already informed their Japanese counterparts that that they would like to discuss the stringent requirements for Filipino nurses who would like to work in Japan.

The Philippine contingent has officially told their Japanese counterparts that the labor situation must be discussed during the renegotiation of the JPEPA scheduled this year.

The Philippine contingent was composed of representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Labor and Employment, Office of the Solicitor General, Department of Justice, Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Regulatory Commission and the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency.

Meanwhile, the Philippines is hesitant to discuss the auto component which would allow for the preferential importation of smaller vehicles. The Philippines is opposing this because these vehicles are being manufactured in the country and importation may damage the local industry.

The JPEPA, entered into force December 2008, is the most comprehensive bilateral economic agreement the Philippines has entered into with another country covering trade in goods and services, investments, and cooperation.

The DTI said that the group will conduct a detailed review on how the Philippines can improve and expand the trade and investment relationship with Japan. The agency has also set a series of preliminary meetings with inter-agency members and consultation talks with private sector stakeholders this week. –Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, The Philippine Star

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