Philippines seeks stronger ties with France

(The Philippine Star) - August 3, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is seeking ways to boost bilateral ties with France, a country seen to help strengthen the government’s thrust towards the development of micro, small and medium enterprises.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez met last week with French Ambassador Thierry Mathou to discuss programs in strengthening the two countries’ economic ties.

“France, as the third largest economy in the European Union, is among the countries which support the Philippines’ advocacy on developing small and medium enterprises especially in the creative services and startup sector,” the DTI chief said.

Philippine exports to France last year increased 25.41 percent to $415.89 million from $331.64 million in 2014.

Top exported products include parts of electronic integrated circuits and micro assemblies.

Bilateral trade between the two countries, meanwhile, was expected to finish lower last year from the $2.3 billion recorded in 2014.

France, however, has consistently been one of the country’s biggest markets for import and export merchandise trade and has risen to become the Philippines’ second largest trading partner among European Union member states.

The next Philippines-France Joint Economic Commission is scheduled to be held in the country next year.

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