THE GOVERNMENT is pursuing trade and investment deals in aerospace, electronics, and shipbuilding with France, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.
The DTI held an online meeting with newly-appointed French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz on March 31, during which the parties also discussed trade and investment in clean energy, agribusiness, and healthcare.
Cooperation in these sectors will be discussed in the 9th Philippines-France Joint Economic Commission in the second quarter, the DTI said in a statement Monday.
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and Ms. Boccoz discussed the agency’s global investment campaign and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, which will reduce corporate income tax and rationalize incentives.
France is one of 17 target markets of the government’s “Make It Happen in the Philippines” international investment marketing campaign focused on the automotive, aerospace, electronics, copper and nickel, and business process outsourcing sectors.
The two sides also spoke about the recent signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and the Philippine interest in joining a transpacific deal. France is part of neither agreement.
“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 DTI said.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte in February said that the country will continue to work on a free trade agreement with the European Union.
Trade Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo met virtually with French Ministry of Economy and Finance Head of Bilateral Trade Relations Denis Le Fers in December to talk about potential partnerships in nuclear energy and disaster management.
France was the Philippines’ 15th largest export market last year, with exports valued at $427 million, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. — Jenina P. Ibañez