French business group plans trade mission

Posted on January 07, 2014

THE LARGEST organization of companies in France is expected to arrive in the Philippines in March or April to seek business opportunities here, a French Embassy official yesterday said.

“[It] should be around March or April,” Gilles Vernet, economic counselor at the French Embassy in the Philippines, said in a text message yesterday, when asked when the Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF) will visit the Philippines.

MEDEF, according to its Web site, was established in 1946 and started out as the Conseil national du patronat Fran├žais. It took its current name in 1989 and now represents more than 700,000 businesses in France.

In October, French Ambassador to the Philippines Gilles Garachon said MEDEF would conduct a trade mission to the Philippines in January. Difficulty in securing a date this month, however, has led MEDEF to seek a later date.

Companies that will join the business delegation include those engaged in infrastructure, distribution, transportation, and communication, Mr. Garachon had said then.

He added that many French companies are now considering doing business in the Philippines due to the economy’s rosy prospects.

“A lot of French companies now are going to the Philippines to see the prospects. And the prospects are pretty good here. They want to put up offices here in Manila,” said Mr. Garachon.

“Through this mission, we hope to increase economic ties between our countries.”

Some of the French companies and brands in the Philippines include gasoline station Total, construction materials provider Lafarge, cosmetic brands L’Oreal and Maybelline, apparel brand Lacoste, and business process management firm Teleperformance.

Total trade between France and the Philippines in 2012 was at $1.25 billion. -- Daryll Edisonn D. Saclag