Philippines, France leaders to sign 2 agreements-A A +A
Friday, October 19, 2012
MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III and French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault are set to sign two agreements during their bilateral meeting in Malacanang Friday afternoon.
Ayrault is in the country for a three-day visit and is expected to visit Malacanang at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Valte said the two agreements are the Declaration of Intent between the Philippines and French Republic in relation to a study for energy production from biomass and the Philippines-France Memorandum of Agreement on holding a grand exhibition called the "Philippines—Art of Exchange" at the Musée du Quai Branly.
She said the French government will be giving a grant amounting to US$482,204 to fund the feasibility study on rice as fuel to generate electricity using organic ranking cycle or ORC technology.
The exhibition, meanwhile, will be conducted from April 9 to July 21 next year.
"It confirms the conditions of the loan security conservation and return to the Philippines and immunity from seizure of the objects and artworks loaned for the exhibition and it will ensure mutual assistance in administrative matters of the following participating institutions: The National Museum of the Philippines and the Museum of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas," Valte said.
The bilateral meeting between the two top officials is scheduled at 5:45 p.m. It will also be attended by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Neda Chief Arsenio Balisacan, and Philippine Ambassador to France Cristina Ortega.
The signing of the two agreements will be held at 6:15 p.m. to be followed by dinner in honor of Prime Minister Ayrault at Rizal Hall in Malacañang.
Ayrault will undertake the first ever visit of a French prime minister to the country since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1947.
His visit is expected to enhance two countries’ political, economic and cultural relations.
Ayrault is accompanied by a 130-member delegation composed of ministers, parliamentarians and businessmen.
"The visit of the Prime Minister is significant in the sense that it sends the signal that there's a renewed interest in the Philippines after the '86 People Power Revolution. The Philippines and Singapore will be the first Asian countries to be visited by the Prime Minister," Valte said.
"In terms of trade, the total bilateral trade of our country with France in 2011, rose to 1.143 billion dollars and French investments are up by 90 percent in 2011," she added.
The Aquino administration hopes that French companies such as LaFarge, Total, AXA and Alcatel would increase their investments in the country in the coming years.
Valte added that several French companies have expressed interest to participate in the bidding for flagship projects under the Public-Private Partnership program. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)