The European Union should expand free trade negotiations in Asia to include the Philippines, China and Indonesia after it finalised a comprehensive trade pact with Singapore last year, Britain’s foreign secretary said on Thursday. Britain wants to increase trade ties with rapidly growing countries in Asia, partly due to the slowdown in the euro zone. China and the Philippines are the region’s two fastest growing economies.
“Britain is an energetic advocate of EU free trade agreements with Asian countries, including those currently under negotiation with Thailand and Japan, and possible future agreements with China, Indonesia and the Philippines,” William Hague told a business and diplomatic forum. “We would like the European Union to negotiate free trade agreements much more widely around the world,” Hague later said at the end of visits to Indonesia and the Philippines.