ANZCham seeks food, pharma boost from treaty

The Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCham) said a “comprehensive economic partnership” with the Philippines represents opportunities for the food, pharmaceuticals and resource industries, among others.

In a statement, ANZCham President Tom Grealy was quoted as saying that the chamber commissioned a study which found that Australian investment in the Philippines was a means of embedding into region-wide value chains as Southeast Asia pursues economic integration.

Mr. Grealy said the study, “Winning the ASEAN Market: Impact of the ASEAN Economic Community on Australian and Philippine Business Relations,” has “three interlinked recommendations” which he views to be of “mutual benefit,” with Australian access to the AEC markets constituting the first proposition.

The second is to negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement with the Philippines “to lock in market access,” while the third seeks to remove barriers to greater investment in order to make the Philippines a suitable regional base for Australian firms.

The study was backed by the Australian Trade Commission’s Asian Business Engagement Plan. It sought to examine the trade and investment outlook under an AEC regime with input from ANZCham member companies.

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