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The Philippines and France to collaborate on sectors including ICT

The Philippines and France had vowed to closely collaborate on sectors of mutual interest via promotion and more frequent business visits, technical capacity building exchanges in emerging industries, and promote greater trade and investments.

According to a recent report, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez encouraged France to closely look into the cast opportunities for growth in trade and investments between both countries during the Philippines-France Joint Economic Commission (JEC).

The event is a high level economic dialogue platform that enables the Philippines to engage partner countries to discuss areas for trade, investment, business cooperation, and other related matters to advance bilateral economic ties.

Capacity building programs

Some of the identified capacity building programs include animation services, green design, content development, satellite development, and data sharing.

The Philippines also conveyed its interest to pursue cooperation in the following areas:

  1. Renewable energy
  2. E-commerce
  3. Collaborative research and development
  4. Shipbuilding and buoy-making
  5. Auto-electronics
  6. IC design
  7. Electronics design with space legacy, including accessing technical expertise from France

Updates were also provided in the implementation of previously-signed agreements in the maritime industry, aerospace, infrastructure and transportation, which include feasibility study projects on cable cars and an international food terminal.

The DTI Secretary, together with French Secretary of State for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean Baptiste Lemoyne, encouraged business leaders from both sides to engage their counterparts more frequently.

This can be done by exchanging business missions and participating in each other’s start-up events and key trade expositions.

Trade information

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

Philippine exports to France, in particular, were up by 38.48%, from US$ 807.63 million in 2017 to US$ 1.118 billion in 2018.

Top items included vessels of transport, electronics products, and parts of airplanes. Philippine exports to France represent about 10% of total products sent to the EU.

French exports to the Philippines, on the other hand, were up by 64.63%, from US$ 924.81 in 2017 to US$ 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, which are Germany and the Netherlands.

France was also the country’s 16th largest country-source of products, and the 12th largest export destination of the Philippines.

The Event

The Joint Economic Commission meeting between the Philippines and France was co-chaired by DTI Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo, and French Ministry of Economy and Finance Deputy Director for Bilateral Affairs Christophe Bories.

Representatives from the Philippine and French governments, Philippine business leaders and a delegation from the Mouvement des Enterprises de France – Internationale (MEDEF International), and the French business confederation group participated in the event.

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