PH, France to tackle investment, trade prospects

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    The Philippines will seek investments from and market access to France as part of an earlier agreement to collaborate on sectors of mutual interest.

    As a followup of the Philippines-France Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting in June 2019, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez will visit France mid February to hold discussions with French companies on how they can participate in aerospace, transportation, energy and infrastructure sectors as well as the Build, Build, Build program.

    Lopez said he will also discuss exports prospects of non electronics goods, such as garments, to France.

    The June meeting of the 8th JEC , a high level economic dialogue platform, was led by Lopez and French Secretary of State for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean Baptiste Lemoyne.

    During the meeting, the Philippines also conveyed its interest to pursue cooperation with France in the areas of renewable energy, electronic commerce, collaborative research and development, shipbuilding and buoy-making, auto-electronics, IC design, and electronics design with space legacy, including accessing technical expertise from France.

    Cooperation ventures between Philippine and French entities were also identified, including a memorandum of understanding between ASCIEL Alliance Electronique and the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc. Foundation. Updates were also provided in the implementation of previously-signed agreements in the maritime industry, aerospace, infrastructure and transportation including feasibility study projects on cable cars and an international food terminal.

    In 2018, total trade between the Philippines and France grew to $2.64 billion, up by 52.43 percent from its 2017 level of $1.73 billion.

    Philippine exports to France in particular was up by 38.48 percent, from $807.63 million in 2017 to $1.118 billion in 2018.

    Top items included vessels of transport, electronics products, and parts of airplanes.

    Philippine exports to France represents about 10 percent of total products sent to the European Union.

    French exports to the Philippines rose 64.63 percent from $924.81 in 2017 to $1.522 billion in 2018. The Philippines purchased airplanes and its parts, and medicaments from France in 2018.

    The total trade figure placed France as the 15th largest country-trading partner of the Philippines, behind only two other EU countries — Germany and the Netherlands. France was also the country’s 16th largest country-source of products, and the Philippines’ 12th largest export destination.