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Philippines, France boost ties with signing of cooperation agreements

Louis Bacani - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED, 7 p.m.) - The Philippines and France on Thursday strengthened their bilateral relations with the signing of cooperation agreements.

The signing of the memoranda of understanding on tourism cooperation and in higher education and research were witnessed by President Benigno Aquino III and visiting French President Francois Hollande following their expanded bilateral talks in Malacañang.

Aquino said the agreement on torusim will allow for the formal sharing of knowledge and best practices in ecotourism and sustainable tourism development, management of tourism destinations, product development, and skills improvement of employees, among others.

"It is also my hope that this will encourage more of our friends from France to follow the footsteps of President Hollande, visit the Philippines, and see for themselves how it is more fun in our country," he said.

The deal on higher education and research will foster closer collaboration between students, faculty, experts, researchers, and administrators from both nations and promote joint research in various fields, Aquino said.

Three agreements on transportation and infrastructure projects were also signed between Philippine and French companies:

  • Financing Agreement for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Project
  • Management, operation, and maintenance of the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway
  • Manila Light Rail Transit Line 1 Extension Project

"Indeed: the enhanced partnership between France and the Philippines has already redounded to great benefits for our people. At the same time, our discussions also covered regional and global issues of mutual concern," Aquino said.

He also conveyed to Hollande an invitation for French companies to explore investing in the Philippines, particularly in the aerospace, IT-BPM, renewable energy, and infrastructure sectors.

"Filipino workers have proven themselves to possess the skills, loyalty, and drive necessary to spur any industry to success, and given the economic resurgence that our country has experienced these last few years, there is no more opportune time than today to invest in the Philippines," Aquino said.

AQUINO CEBU BUS RAPID TRANSIT PROJECT EXTENSION PROJECT FINANCING AGREEMENT FRANCE AND THE PHILIPPINES FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE MANILA LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT LINE PHILIPPINE AND FRENCH PHILIPPINES AND FRANCE PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO PRESIDENT HOLLANDE
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