Joint Economic Committee with France
CITY, Oct. 30 -- Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo
and French Minister of State for Foreign Trade Mathias Fekl met in Paris,
France recently to reconvene the Philippines-France Joint Economic Committee
(JEC) after a 12-year hiatus.
The high level meeting fulfilled a political commitment between President
Benigno S. Aquino III and President Francois Hollande when the two Heads of
State met on September 2014 and February 2015. The PH-France JEC was
established in 1994 and was last convened in 2003.
Domingo welcomed the reactivation of the Philippines-France JEC, saying that
this is an integral part of the Philippines’ overall strategy for Europe.
The Philippines has been aggressively pursuing trade partnerships with the
European Union (EU) and was given beneficiary country status under the EU
Generalized System of Preferences Plus (EU-GSP+).
The JEC focuses on broadening cooperation in the areas of creative
industries, tourism, sustainable development, aerospace, and aeronautics.
“The aerospace and aeronautics sector is an area that both Ph and France are
eager to pursue. This is a growing sector with huge potential for the
Philippines to become an aerospace hub in the field of aircraft maintenance
and production. We welcome the commitment to deepen existing cooperation
between the civil aviation agencies of the Philippines and France and the
companies in the aerospace sector,” said Department of Trade and Industry
Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr.
The Philippines’ domestic aerospace industry has an estimated .15% share of
the 2013 GDP, and a projected 0.57% share of the 2022 GDP. It contributes
2,200 in direct employment, generating an estimated 10 million dollars as
salaries of direct and allied workers. It expects to generate 1.5 billion
dollars in revenues in the next 10 years.
Partners in climate change mitigation
Likewise, both parties acknowledge the commitment to achieving the
objectives for the forthcoming Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) which France
will host. COP21 focuses on the adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
To highlight the Philippines’ commitment to sustainable development, Bases
Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) representatives met with urban
planning companies involved in ‘smart cities’ development such as Dassault
Systems, Vivapolis, and Archetype.
The next JEC meeting will be in Manila in 2016. Preparatory seminars and
conferences will be conducted to advance and implement cooperation measures
on participating in the global supply chain for aerospace; collaboration on
the creative industries sector; responsible tourism, “eco-tourism” and the
relationships between tourism and development; participation in the global
supply chain for agriculture, animal health, responsible food and protection
of fishery resources; and the fight against the effects of climate change
and natural disasters, among others.
In 2014, France was the Philippines' 13th trading partner, with total
bilateral trade valued at 2.57 billion dollars which accounts for 2.02%
share of the country’s trade with the world. Exports to France rose to
331.63 million dollars in 2014, which is attributed to the increased demand
for transistors, spectacle lenses of other materials, digital and other
digital monolithic integrated circuits.
EU-GSP+ grants the Philippines, as beneficiary country, tariff free exports
for more than 6,000 products. (DTI)