There is greater opportunity for collaboration and partnerships between Norway and the Philippines. There are new areas that are waiting to be discovered and tapped into’, said Deputy Head of Mission Kristian Netland during a European Free Trade Association (EFTA)-related event on 21 July 2015 in Makati City.
The event, Seminar on Fostering Participation of Philippine MSMEs in EFTA Markets, is a follow-up to the ongoing free trade negotiations between the Philippines and EFTA states composed of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. It sought to present potential export opportunities and bilateral economic activities with the opening of the free trade agreement. More than 100 participants from the government and the private sector attended the event spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry.
In his presentation, Mr Netland discussed the economic structure of Norway and its trade policies. He highlighted Norway’s increasing focus to the new and emerging markets in Asia and put emphasis on the opportunities of the already strong Norwegian – Philippine relations that is expanding to new areas of mutual interests.
‘Innovation and creativity are key to these opportunities’, said Mr Netland.
The second round of free trade negotiations between EFTA and the Philippines was held 29 June – 3 July 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. Discussions on trade in goods and services, investment and intellectual property rights took place. The third round of negotiations will convene in Manila in September 2015.
The EFTA is an intergovernmental organization set up for the promotion of the free trade and economic integration to the benefit of its four member states.