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PH to explore more potential trade and investment opportunities with France
MANILA—Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez pointed out potential trade and investment opportunities for French companies in a virtual courtesy call with newly-appointed French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz on 31 March 2021. The two sides talked about further exploring trade and investment deals in aerospace, electronics, shipbuilding, clean energy, agribusiness, and healthcare, among others. Possible cooperation on these areas are expected to be discussed in the forthcoming 9th Philippines-France Joint Economic Commission (JEC), which is scheduled in the latter part of the second quarter this year.

Sec. Lopez shared the Make It Happen in the Philippines, a global investment campaign of the DTI-Board of Investments (BOI) to promote the country as an ideal business destination amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, French Ambassador Boccoz lauded the recent signing of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, as this will be beneficial and attractive for more French companies to do business in the Philippines.

Both officials also discussed the recent signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement and the Philippines' intent to accede to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to create more trade opportunities for the country. Sec. 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 (EU).

The trade chief expressed that he looks forward for a strong collaboration with the French Ambassador in pursuing the trade and investment plans for both countries, while wishing France well as it also deals with the pandemic.