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Manila will have to join Asia-Pacific TPP trade bloc one day: minister

Published on Apr 11, 2014 10:06 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Philippines will eventually have to join a market-opening trans-Pacific trade deal currently under negotiation once its market share, jobs and businesses start to suffer because of it, the country's finance minister said on Thursday.

The Philippines has not joined 12 other nations involved in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) because of constitutional provisions limiting foreign ownership in some sectors it would need to open to join the pact.

"Ultimately we'll get there," the country's finance secretary, Cesar Purisima, told a seminar on the sidelines of the World Bank/IMF meetings in Washington.

Purisima said this was despite the fact that Philippine President Benigno Aquino had decided that the best use of his political capital was in dealing with challenges that do not require changing the constitution.

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