(This paper was presented at the forum on JPEPA: More Pain than Gain for Filipinos organized by Peace Cycle, March 7, 2007, University of the Philippines, Manila.)
"The Philippines is ripe for more trade and investments" was Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo's sales pitch at the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in Davos, Switzerland in January this year.
But with all of these bilateral deals and deal making happening left and right alongside the on-going efforts to jump start the stalled Doha negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO), the more relevant issue may not be our readiness for more trade and investment but whether opening the doors for these would actually benefit the Philippines.
Are these deals good for us or are we in fact getting a raw deal in all of these bilateral and multilateral trade and investment agreements?
Jenina Joy Chavez