The first meeting between Switzerland and the Philippines for the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) will be held on July 14 in Manila. The meeting aims for more targeted discussions on trade, investment and economic cooperation between the two nations.
Adrian Cristobal, Trade and Industry Undersecretary, said that “the convening of the Philippines-Switzerland JEC is part of our strategy to intensify our trade engagements in Europe.”
Cristobal will chair the JEC together with the Head of the Bilateral Economic Relations of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Ambassador Livia Leu.
“This is a concrete follow-through of the Agreement establishing JEC in June last year and the recent signing of the Joint Declaration on Cooperation between the Philippines and European Free Trade Association in June of this year,” is what Ivo Sieber, Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines had to say about the gathering.
An Agreement signed in 2013 by Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo and Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, State Secretary and Director of SECO, Federal Department of Economic Affairs of the Swiss Confederation solidified the JEC.
The assembly which will take place on July 14 marks the inaugural of the JEC. On the agenda for discussion are various trade and investment promotion and economic cooperation proposals; multilateral, regional and bilateral integration initiatives; as well as efforts to improve the business environment.
As a follow-through to the JEC inaugural meeting, the delegates are slated to hold a business forum on the same day to deliberate investement and business opportunities in both countries.
“The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Philippines-Switzerland Business Council (PSBC) have played an important role in identifying areas of mutual interest which can be the basis for enhanced cooperation,” Cristobal added.
Trade between Switzerland is the Philippines totaled$611.6 million in 2013.