The Philippines has gained the support of the Hungarian government in its negotiations for a free trade deal between the Philippines and the European Union (EU).
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó led a high-level bilateral meeting here recently.
It was the first face-to-face bilateral meeting of the DTI chief amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“The presence of Minister Szijjártó amidst this pandemic shows the importance of the country for Hungary both as a trading partner and as an investment destination,” Lopez said.
Szijjártó supports the continuation of Philippines-EU free trade agreement (FTA) talks to create better opportunities and a liberalized business environment for Hungarian firms wanting to do business in the Philippines.
The Philippines and EU had two rounds of FTA negotiations –in Brussels in 2016 and in Cebu in 2017.
“Part of the DTI’s strategy to enhance our outbound trade and inbound investment with the EU is to increase our engagement with individual EU member states. Hungary has been one of our key allies in the EU in supporting our status as a GSP+ (Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus) beneficiary and our FTA negotiations with the EU,” Lopez said.