PH, France vow to boost defense, trade, health cooperation

Published April 17, 2021, 9:54 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

The Philippines and France reaffirmed their bilateral relations and vowed to enhance strong cooperation in various fields including defense, trade, and health.

MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Affairs Brigido Dulay met newly-appointed French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz at the Department of Foreign Affairs on April 13.

“Undersecretary Dulay and Ambassador Boccoz reaffirmed the close ties between the Philippines and France, stronger cooperation in the areas of defense, maritime, business and investments, and health,” the DFA said on Friday.

The two diplomats likewise discussed the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, particularly the Philippine government’s vaccination program and France’s contribution to the COVAX Facility, the global pooled procurement mechanism for COVID-19 vaccines led by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Dulay and Boccoz likewise discussed further engagements on key priority areas, including France’s new role as Development Partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Meanwhile, the DFA said the meeting also delved into activities in line with the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2022.

Last week, it was announced that the Philippines and France will hold further discussions on potential deals in at least six areas including aerospace, electronics, shipbuilding, clean energy, agribusiness, and healthcare in the second quarter of the year.

Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and France were formally established in Paris on June 26, 1947, following the signing of a Treaty of Friendship by then Philippine Vice President and concurrent Secretary of Foreign Affairs Elpidio Quirino and French Foreign Minister M. Georges Bidault.

The Philippines and France have had vibrant exchanges, starting with Filipino national hero Dr. Jose Rizal’s sojourn in France where he wrote parts of Noli me Tangere and completed El Filibusterismo.

Several bilateral agreements have also been concluded between the two countries in the fields of agriculture, air services, culture, defense, higher education, social security, taxation, and trade, among others. 

 
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