Philippines and France will hold further discussions on potential deals in six areas in the scheduled Joint Economic Commission to be held later this second quarter.

This developed following the recent meeting of  Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez and newly-appointed French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz.

Photo shows 1st row: French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez; 2nd row: French Embassy Economic Counselor Olivier Ginépro, Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo, and Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)-Paris Commercial Attaché Froilan Pamintuan.

During the meeting, the two officials talked about further exploring trade and investment deals in aerospace, electronics, shipbuilding, clean energy, agribusiness, and healthcare, among others. 

“Possible cooperation on these areas are expected to be discussed in the forthcoming 9th Philippines-France Joint Economic Commission (JEC), which is scheduled in the latter part of the second quarter this year,” said Lopez.

 Lopez shared the “Make It Happen in the Philippines”, a global investment campaign of the DTI-Board of Investments to promote the country as an ideal business destination amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Meanwhile, French Ambassador Boccoz lauded the recent signing of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, as this will be beneficial and attractive for more French companies to do business in the Philippines.  

Both officials also discussed the recent signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the Philippines’ intent to accede to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership to create more trade opportunities for the country. Sec. Lopez encouraged France to take advantage of the opportunities in the country’s free trade agreement (FTA) network and noted that this could be further enhanced through an FTA with the European Union.  

The trade chief expressed that he looks forward for a strong collaboration with the French Ambassador in pursuing the trade and investment plans for both countries, while wishing France well as it also deals with the pandemic. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (