The ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement (ACAFTA) Working Group on Investment (WGI) held its first Plenary meeting virtually on 30 August 2022.

Designated as the ASEAN Chair, BOI Governor Marjorie Ramos-Samaniego presided the meeting. The Philippine team led by Atty. Elyjean DC Portoza, Director of BOI Legal and Compliance was also joined by the Department of Justice (DOJ) represented by Senior State Counsel Grace L. Estrada. The meeting was attended by all ASEAN Member States (AMS) and Canada.

During the meeting, the representatives of the respective participating countries exchanged their views on the levels of ambition and elements of the FTA’s investment chapter. They also discussed the work plan, which will serve as the guide on the conduct of the negotiations.

TOWARDS FREE TRADE BETWEEN ASEAN AND CANADA. BOI Governor Marjorie Ramos-Samaniego, presided the first plenary meeting of the ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement (ACAFTA) Working Group on Investment (WGI), held virtually on 30 August 2022.

Previously, the said working group held its first ASEAN Caucus meeting virtually on 22 August 2022. In such meeting, the ASEAN Member States discussed the elements and approach for the negotiations, among others.

Further, the ACAFTA Investment Chapter aims to create a framework for investments between and among the ASEAN and Canada and will include promotion, facilitation, liberalization and protection of investments.

According to Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo, a free trade agreement with Canada will facilitate greater flow of trade, services, and investments to ASEAN.

“For the Philippines, our national objective is to leverage ASEAN and position the Philippines as Canada’s production hub in the region,” Undersecretary Rodolfo emphasized. #