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Does Similarity in Philippine FTAs Matter in Trade?

This study seeks to understand the design of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement and European Free trade Association (EFTA), notably the similarities with other free trade agreements (FTAs) of Japan and EFTA-member countries, respectively, and how these similarities affect Philippine trade. To do this, the study proposes using text-of-trade-analysis, that is, text analysis employing text-as-data. The paper demonstrates the application of text analysis to complement the conventional methods of assessing the impacts of trade agreements. The results reveal that similarity across trade agreements, both at document and chapter or topic-specific provisions (e.g., trade in goods, rules of origin, strong references to sustainable development) may influence and encourage trade.

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