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French firms keen on helping Philippines develop dairy industry

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
French firms keen on helping Philippines develop dairy industry
During the 10th Joint Economic Cooperation (JEC) meeting this week, French Minister Delegate for foreign trade, economic attractiveness and French nationals abroad Olivier Becht presented three letters of intent to Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual extending French expertise and technical support in developing the Philippines’ dairy industry.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — At least three French companies are interested in developing the country’s dairy industry, while two more submitted proposals for aviation and infrastructure projects in the Philippines, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

During the 10th Joint Economic Cooperation (JEC) meeting this week, French Minister Delegate for foreign trade, economic attractiveness and French nationals abroad Olivier Becht presented three letters of intent to Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual extending French expertise and technical support in developing the Philippines’ dairy industry.

Apart from the three letters of intent, Becht also presented concrete proposals of Aéroports de Paris (ADP) on aviation and the French Treasury and Matière on road bridges in the Philippines.

The two ministers convened the JEC meeting last Tuesday also witnessed the signing of the two separate memorandums of understanding (MOUs) between the National Power Corp. (Napocor), the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and Hydrogène de France (HDF) to facilitate the development of renewable energy and hydrogen power plants in the Philippines, the first project of its kind to be undertaken in Southeast Asia.

“Both countries vowed to continue cooperation on ongoing projects such as the commitment of OCEA, a French company, to build a shipyard in the Philippines, technical cooperation on maritime safety through the placement of a French marine expert in Manila, and on nuclear energy through an upcoming study mission,” the DTI said.

During the 9th Philippine-France JEC in July 2021, the DTI welcomed OCEA’s pledged investment worth P1.5 billion in shipyard development in the Philippines. The company also renewed this commitment during the President’s visit to Belgium in December last year.

“Among the 33 JECs the Philippines has, France is one of the few JECs we hold at the Ministerial level. This fact highlights France’s important role in our overall relations with Europe. Indeed, we accord high importance to the JEC as a mechanism to continuously enhance our economic relations, particularly in trade and investments,” Pascual said.

During the technical session of the JEC led by Trade assistant secretary Allan Gepty and deputy director Denis Le Fers, the Philippines expressed its continued interest in forging space cooperation with the Centre National D’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French Space Agency.

Last November following CNES’ invitation during the last JEC meeting, the Philippine Space Agency signed the Space for Climate Observatory Charter, making it the National Focal Point of the Philippines in the French-led climate resilience initiative.

In the area of aviation, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) deputy director general Edgardo Diaz reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to the MOU with the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC) or the French Civil Aviation Authority, which was renewed in 2021.

“Both sides welcomed the ongoing discussion with Thales on air traffic management,” the DTI said.

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