New Zealand Embassy Manila, The Philippines

Business council discusses new free trade agreement

Department of Trade and Industry assistant secretary Ramon Kabigting addressing the PNZBC members’ forum.

The Philippines New Zealand Business Council (PNZBC) devoted its May members’ forum to discussing the new free trade agreement that links the two countries. 


More than 60 PNZBC members and their guests gathered at the Manila residence of the New Zealand ambassador, Andrew Matheson, for a forum devoted to the most significant development in the bilateral trading relationship — the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

Presentations on the free trade agreement, and how it will benefit both businesses and consumers in the Philippines and New Zealand, were given by:

  • Assistant secretary Ramon Kabigting of the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippines’ chief negotiator for the agreement
  • Andy White, deputy head of mission at the New Zealand embassy
  • Net Bernales, trade commissioner at the New Zealand embassy.

Full details of AANZFTA can be found here, and the nifty ‘tariff finder’ demonstrated at the forum is here.

The forum was the fifth at which New Zealand embassy staff and DTI staff have collaborated to explain the benefits of AANZFTA.  So far sessions on the free trade agreement have been held in the three regions of the Philippines: Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

For more than 15 years the Philippines New Zealand Business Council has promoted business links between the two countries.  Its forums every two months cover a range of subjects of interest to members.

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