Philippine and New Zealand hold bilateral consultations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Philippines-New Zealand bilateral relations took another major step forward on 12 August 2014, with the holding of the Bilateral Consultations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Wellington. A 9-member interagency delegation from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Tariff Commission, Intellectual Property Office-Philippines (IPOPhl), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) was led by DTI Assistant Secretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo of the Industry Development Group (IDG).
The Philippine delegation met with New Zealand officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), Ministry for Environment (ME), and Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) during the consultations. Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, namely, Mr. David Walker, Deputy Secretary Trade and Economic Group and TPP Lead Negotiator, Mr. Mark Trainor, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Lead Negotiator, and Mr. Stefan Corbett, Lead Adviser, South East Asia Division, led the consultations with the Philippine delegation.
The Philippines and New Zealand officials discussed a wide range of issues of mutual and regional interest pertaining to TPP, RCEP, and the thriving bilateral relations between the two nations. Both sides noted the developments in trade and investment relations as well as in development, geothermal energy, defence, tourism, education, and ICT cooperation. Also discussed were measures being taken towards the smooth and successful conclusion of RCEP negotiations as well as the endeavors of the Philippines in trying to ascertain how its participation in TPP can be realized.
Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez and the Philippine delegation had a substantive and interesting discussion on the key features of the discussions on the consultations regarding TPP, RCEP and the bilateral relations between the Philippines and New Zealand. The Philippine delegation briefed Ambassador Benavidez via teleconference on Skype at the Philippine Embassy Chancery since the Ambassador was in the Philippines.
A dinner was hosted by Minister and Consul General Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa and Vice Consul Glenn Joseph Q. Obach on behalf of Ambassador Benavidez for the Philippine delegation and New Zealand officials at “Ang Bahay” (Philippine Ambassador’s residence) on 12 August 2014. The dinner provided another excellent opportunity for interaction and networking among the guests.