The Marcos administration should prioritize the free trade agreement with the European Union (EU), said Lars Wittig, president of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. “If you believe in the Philippines, it will be one of your biggest markets,” he said. “The potential in the Philippines is huge.”

Meanwhile, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., also brought up the free trade agreement in his speech at the 10th ASEAN-EU Business Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on Dec. 13.

“We need to continue this momentum. It is important that our governments continue to collaborate with the private sector, especially with the current geopolitical challenges. With the participation of ASEAN members in trade deals, ASEAN is well positioned to accelerate our progress. Although the EU is historically a dialogue partner of ASEAN, an FTA is a long-term objective. In the meanwhile, ASEAN will continue to dialogue on economic competitiveness as the short- to medium-term plans are to transform ASEAN into a leading digital economy,” he told business and government leaders from the two blocs.

Interview by Patricia B. Mirasol. Editing by Earl R. Lagundino.