PH, France reconvening joint economic committee
MANILA and Paris have revived a high-level economic dialogue after 12 years by reconvening the Philippines-France Joint Economic Committee (JEC) last week.
Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the meeting, held on Oct. 20, followed through a commitment made by President Aquino and President Francois Hollande when they met on Sept. 2014 and Feb. 2015.
Domingo said the reactivation of the JEC—first established in 1994 and last convened in 2003—was an integral part of the Philippines’ overall strategy for Europe.
France was the Philippines 13th largest trading partner in 2014, with total bilateral trade valued at $2.57 billion—accounting for a 2-percent share of the country’s trade with the world.
Philippine exports to France reached $331.6 million last year, driven by an increased demand for transistors, spectacle lenses of other materials, digital and other digital monolithic integrated circuits.
The JEC focuses on broadening cooperation in the areas of creative industries, tourism, sustainable development, aerospace, and aeronautics.
“The aerospace and aeronautics sector is a growing sector with huge potential for the Philippines to become an aerospace hub in the field of aircraft maintenance and production,” Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said in a statement.
Cristobal said the Philippines’ domestic aerospace industry has an estimated 0.15 percent share of the country’s total output in 2013, projected to rise to 0.57 percent in 2022.
The industry contributes 2,200 jobs in direct employment, generating $10 million in salaries of direct and allied workers. It expects to generate $1.5 billion in revenue in the next 10 years.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry, Manila will host the next JEC meeting in 2016.