France, PHL eye closer trade, development ties

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The French and Philippine governments on Friday concluded the 8th Philippines-France Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting in Manila, agreeing to come up with more exchanges to increase trade and investment ties as well as boost development cooperation.

In the latest JEC meet, the two nations have opened “new inroads” as a result of ongoing shipbuilding and maritime industry agreements which will pave the way to the entry of French companies to the Philippines, according to Trade and Investment Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Infrastructure and transportation-related projects were also identified by the two partners.

Among items discussed were information and communication technology, infrastructure development, cable car systems, rapid bus transit systems, industrial park development, and even international food terminal, Lopez said.

Lopez said the France-Philippines JEC is the longest running economic meet in the country.

“We have been running the Philippines-France JEC since the first one hosted in Manila in 1996. The main objective of the JEC was and still is to develop economic relations between the two countries in the framework of open international exchanges,” he said in a speech Friday. PNA