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The Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Paris (PTIC Paris) in cooperation with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office – Geneva (POLO-Geneva), and the Philippine Embassy in Paris (PE-Paris), recognizing the need to further provide assistance to overseas Filipinos in France interested in expanding their means of livelihood and financial security, conducted a TRABAHO, NEGOSYO, KABUHAYAN (TNK) event in Nice, France on 18-19 May 2019.

The event which was timed with the Philippine Consular Mission to Nice on both dates, was an initiative by aforementioned Philippine government agencies/offices with jurisdiction over France. It also germinated from the ongoing agreement between the DTI and the DOLE to conduct TNKlivelihood events, including in foreign posts.

Also extending support during the event were the Pag-Ibig and SSS offices based in Milan, Italy, and the Philippine Consulate General’s Office in Geneva, whose Consul General shared snippets of their financial literacy program with the attendees during the two-day event.

This is the third TNK event for PTIC-Paris for 2019, after a Madrid TNK project held last April 7 together with the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) and the Philippine Embassy in Madrid led by Ambassador Philippe Jones Lhuillier. Last January 17, a TNK event with the PFA and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) was conducted at the PTIC-Paris, with PCCI President Bing Limjoco as key speaker.♦

Date of Release: 19 May 2019

The Philippine Embassy in Paris in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Paris (PTIC Paris), co-organized a delegation of French electronics companies from ACSIEL Alliance Electronique that visited the Philippines on 28-30 May 2019. 

ACSIEL officials led by its President Mr. Jean Luc Estienne, timed their visit with the conduct of the Philippine Semiconductor and Electronics Convention and Exhibition (PSECE) held on 30 May - 1 June 2019 at the SMX Convention Center and organized by the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc (SEIPI), whose first-ever Philippine electronics business mission delegates to France were received by ACSIEL at their Paris office on 24 October 2018.

The ACSIEL delegation which represents key players in the electronics supply chain of France, included officials from STMicroelectronics, Atemation and Inventec. They embarked on an exploratory mission to the Philippines to check on the possibilities of forging growth collaboration between their 150 plus members and their Philippine counterparts in the future. 

The visit was also the initial step in a list of 5 pre-identified efforts for further cooperation between ACSIEL and SEIPI, which included 1) the visit of the French electronics association to the PSECE; 2) sharing of information by both electronics groups; 3) the development of trade relations through benchmarking of manufacturing and research and development capabilities; mapping of current equipment and services for electronics boards assembly; identifying synergies, and promotion of each other’s manufacturing and services capabilities; 4) new technologies and competency development; and 5) future consultative endeavors.

Key highlights of the visit of ACSIEL to the Philippines included inspection of government-owned electronics testing facility – the  the Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory or the ADMATEL; electronics manufacturing services plant visits at Ionics and Fastech; a roundtable discussion on inclusive innovation strategy involving the Board of Investments (BOI), the Department of Science and Technology Advance Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), IC Design companies in the Philippines, SEIPI, PTIC-Paris and the French Commercial Office in the Philippines; the attendance of the opening session of the PSECE; and a brief meeting with Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba on the sidelines of the PSECE.

ACSIEL and SEIPI are now exploring the possibility of fulfilling the next steps in their cooperation plans. ♦

Date of Release: 29 May 2019

Sec Ramon Lopez at Anitkabir

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez​ paid respects to the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk​, during a wreath laying ceremony at the Anitkabir last 5 February 2018 on the first day of official activities lined up on the occasion of the convening of the first-ever Philippines Turkey Joint Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (JCTEC) meeting.

Secretary Lopez was accompanied by Philippine Ambassador to Turkey, Her Excellency Maria Rowena Sanchez, Philippine non-resident Commercial Attache Froilan Emil Pamintuan​, officals from the Philipoine Embassy in Ankara, and Philippine Turkey Business Council (PTBC) Ernesto Chua who led a Filipino business delegation during the official visit to Turkey.

Secretary Lopez, during the ceremony, said that "with the convening of the First Philippine JCETC in Ankara, my hope, anchored on the vision of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, is that our efforts may continue to elevate the livelihood of our people by opening more doors for international business exchanges and cooperation, especially among our emerging enterprises."

The Anitkabir is the memorial tomb of the Atatürk, who was the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the first President of the Republic of Turkey.

After the wreath laying ceremony, Secretary Lopez also signed the Book of Honour at the monument in the presence of distinguished guests.♦

Welcome plans for a Turkey business mission to PH in March

DTI led by Sec Lopez meets DEIK Turkey

"There are a lot of similarities between the Philippines and Turkey. And there are also a lot of opportunities for complementation, too." This was the key message of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez when he addressed members of the Dış Ekonomik İlişkiler Kurulu (DEIK) or the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey in Istanbul last February 7.
 
The DTI Secretary added that these complementarities can potentially leapfrog current trade levels between two of the fastest growing economies in Asia and in Europe.
 
In 2016, Turkey was the Philippines' 45th trading partner, 45th export market, and 43th import supplier. In 2017 (covering January-November), total trade between two countries hit a significant increase with USD 163 million.
 
Mr. Ilkem Sahin, who currently chairs the Istanbul based Turkey-Philippine Business Council (PTBC), agreed with Secretary Lopez who opined that trade levels between both countries remained below their potential.
 
Sahin added that he hopes that the recent convening of the first-ever Philippines-Turkey Joint Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (JCTEC), and the DEIK Roundtable Meeting between Philippine and Turkish business officials, can help double trade figures in the next year or two.
 
To capitalize on the momentum built by the JCTEC in Ankara, and the productive business engagements in Turkey organised by the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre (PTIC) in partnership with the Philippine Embassy in Ankara, Mr. Sahin announced, in the presence of visiting Philippine-Turkey Business Council (PTBC) Chair, Mr. Ernesto Chua, that the TPBC is spearheading a Turkish Business Mission to the Philippines in March 2018.
 
DTI Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo, who also presented the opportunities of doing business in the Philippines during the DEIK Forum, underscored possible complementation of the Philippines and Turkey in areas such as fashion (furniture, garments and textiles), food & fruit, family-oriented and faith-based tourism, film development, and fabricated materials (construction) among others.
 
Undersecretary Rodolfo also added that Turkish companies may consider the Philippines as a production hub to capitalize on market access to its bilateral and multilateral trading partners, such as the US, and the ASEAN+6.
 
With over 1,000 members all over Turkey, DEIK whose main task is to "conduct foreign economic relations of the Turkish private sector," is currently represented by 94 founding institutions, 136 bilateral business councils, 5 sector-specific business councils, and 2 special purpose business councils.♦

 

 1st PH-Turkey JCETC
(Standing L to R) – DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo, Philippine-Turkey Business Council President Ernesto Chua, Turkey-Philippines Business Council Chairman Ilkem Sahin, Turkish Ministry of Economy Deputy Undersecretary Husnu Dilemre
(Seated L to R) – PH Ambassador to Turkey H.E. Maria Rowena Mendoza-Sanchez, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Turkey’s National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli

ANKARA – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez led a delegation to Turkey to convene the first Philippine (PH)-Turkey Joint Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (JCETC) as well as the signing of Summary of Discussions covering trade, investment promotions, and economic cooperation on 5-6 February 2018.

“The Philippines is committed to pursue several growth opportunities by strengthening partnerships with emerging economic partners like Turkey,” said Sec. Lopez.

The PH trade chief and his JCETC counterpart, Turkey’s National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli, who is the Minister designated to represent their government in this meeting, discussed various areas of trade and investment cooperation on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); manufacturing such as textiles and garments, pharmaceuticals, agri-processing for mango, coconut, banana; hotels and tourism; infrastructure; air services; customs; energy; science and technology; education; standardization; film and creatives; defense; contracting and consultancy services.

They offer to buy products PH can export to Turkey and shall venture with Filipino partners to manufacture the needed products, such as in textiles and pharmaceuticals. They also offer to provide interest-free financial assistance for any project critical to the country’s development as well as security cooperation.

The meeting also involved dialogues on the ongoing government efforts in rebuilding Marawi and how Turkey, as a pre-dominantly Muslim country, can assist PH on its programs and projects. It included discussions on how Islamic financing can be utilized for those MSMEs affected by the siege. They will study the industries that can be put up in Mindanao and can generate more jobs for the people in Marawi.

Both officials also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Investment Promotion by PH Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo and the Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT) President Arda Ermut.

The MOU covered the intention of both parties to exchange best practices as well as information on investment environment and opportunities. Likewise, it encourages local companies to set up and expand their businesses in the partner country.

In 2016, Turkey was PH’s 45th trading partner, 45th export market, and 43th import supplier. In 2017 (covering January-November), total trade between two countries hit a significant increase with USD 163 million.

“Engaging with Turkey is in line with the thrust of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration to engage with non-traditional trading partners to reinvigorate ties and increase trade between both countries,” said Sec. Lopez. 

The trade chief cited current PH exports to Turkey are still confined mostly to desiccated coconut, personal care products, electronics, and tires. These areas are expected to expand with the renewal of economic ties between the two governments and the direct networking among the private sector business delegates. Several business complementations were identified such as in textiles, tourism, pharmaceutical, and infrastructure development.

“During our discussions, we noticed that there are opportunities for our Philippine exporters—whether manufactured goods or services—to further tap the Turkish market,” he added.

The Turkish market comprises more than 80 million people, with per capita income twice of PH’s, and an 11.1% GDP growth posted during the 3rd quarter of 2017.

Meanwhile, an MOU on the enhancement of cooperation in agriculture—plant production and protection; animal farming, health, and breeding; fisheries and aquaculture; food industry; research; rural development; irrigation and extension service; as well as promotion of joint ventures between private sectors—was signed by PH Ambassador to Turkey Maria Rowena Sanchez and Minister Nurettin Canikli.

Partner Philippines

At the sidelines of the JCETC meetings, DTI met with PH and Turkish business officials through a forum with the Turkish Contractors Association (TCA). Sec. Lopez encouraged Turkish companies to join the PH growth story and partner with the country through infrastructure projects, including President Duterte’s “Build Build Build” program.

The meeting was arranged by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC), the Philippine Embassy in Ankara, and the Turkish Ministry of Economy.

The Trade Secretary attended as well a roundtable discussion with the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey or the Dış Ekonomik İlişkiler Kurulu (DEİK), a leading business organization based in Istanbul. Currently, the organization is represented by 94 founding institutions, 136 bilateral business councils, 5 sector-specific business councils, and 2 special purpose business councils. There will be an immediate Turkey business and investment mission to the Philippines on March this year.

Also at the roundtable discussion were Philippine-Turkey Business Council Chair Ernesto Chua Co Kiong and his counterpart from the Turkish-Philippine Business Council, Mr. Ilkem Sahin. Both expressed optimism on the future economic relations between the two countries.

Sec. Lopez likewise met with other Turkish companies interested in doing business in the country, such as IS Holding and Elginkan.

IS Holding is keen on having ventures in PH involving low cost mass housing, energy, shipyard development as well as film and content production. Meanwhile, Elginkan expressed their interest to expand its operations in Southeast Asia particularly in the Philippines as their potential manufacturing hub in the region.♦

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