France to ‘step up’ defense, strategic cooperation with Philippines

France is committed to step up growing cooperation in area of defense and strategic matters with the Philippines. This was expressed by French Ambassador to Philippines Michèle Boccoz during her presentation of credentials to President Rodrigo Duterte on February 10.

“I wish to seize this occasion to show you my full availability to closely work with the Philippine authorities to uphold and to further develop the high level of cooperation already existing between France and the Philippines and to continue building bridges between the people of our two nations,” Boccoz said.

She noted that France, as an Indo-Pacific nation, has developed further its partnerships in the region and “commits itself to bring its contribution to stability, free trade, peaceful settlement of dispute, development, fight against climate change, and freedom of navigation in the region.”

“In that regard, France is committed to continue to step up the growing cooperation in defense and strategic matters between the Philippines and France,” she said.

“France is also grateful for having been designated as a development partner of ASEAN and will honor this decision as a reliable and constructive partner on the long term with the organization and its member states, in particular, the Philippines,” she added.

“Finally, investments in key sectors of the economy in the Philippines is for us a priority. We see with pleasure that more and more French companies are investing in major project and benefit from a good image and excellent cooperation with local companies. Be assured, Mr. President, that France wishes to further its economic and commercial cooperation with the Philippines,” Boccoz said.