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PH seeks increased cooperation with Switzerland

Representatives from the Philippines and Switzerland will meet in Bern to tackle proposals for increased cooperation in the areas of tourism, investments, renewable energy and labor.

The Department of Trade and Industry said the second meeting of the two nations’ Joint Economic Commission (JEC) was set for April 27 and 28.

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“Pursuing an enhanced trade relationship with Switzerland is an important component of the government’s strategy to expand our country’s market access and increase investments,” Trade Secretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. said in a statement.

“We also look forward to reaffirming our interest to become a part of the Swiss Import Program, which would complement our domestic initiatives to build the capacity of local exporters and enable them to adhere to stringent standards of the Swiss market,” Cristobal said.

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Switzerland was the Philippines’ 23rd largest trading partner back in 2014.

The European country was, at that time, the 22nd biggest destination of Philippine exports that included medical instruments, mineral compounds, electrical machines, textiles and apparel and other machinery. It was also the 26th biggest source of Philippine imports, including watches, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products like cheese and chocolate and non-electric machines.

Manila and Bern agreed to establish the Philippine-Swiss JEC on December 19, 2013. The first meeting was held in Manila in mid-2014.

The JEC serves as a platform for regular dialogue and exchanges between the two countries to discuss specific economic and trade issues, developments in the multilateral and regional fora, initiatives to facilitate trade as well as enable greater collaboration among government agencies and the private sector.

According to Trade Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado, bringing more Swiss businesses to the Philippines “would increase the significant economic benefits and employment” that various Swiss companies—such as Roche, Nestle, and SGS—has brought to the country.

Terrado said engaging Switzerland was also part of the strategy to increase Philippine trade engagements in Europe.

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TAGS: Business, cooperation, economy, News, PH, Philippines, Switzerland
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