European legislators to visit Philippines

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Sunday, February 10, 2013


A SEVEN-MAN delegation from the European Parliament will embark on a four-day visit to the Philippines to learn about the positive developments taking place in the country that have created opportunities for new European investment in the fast-growing Southeast Asian economy, the European Union Delegation to the Philippines said Sunday.

The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who together with European governments legislate for 500 million Europeans, will also visit Mindanao to lend their political support to the peace process during their trip here on February 11-15.

The MEPs will be led by Werner Langen, chair of the Delegation of the European Parliament for Relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

"With several of the visiting MEPs sitting on powerful economic committees, business and investment will be high on their agenda," EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux said.

The parliamentarians are scheduled to meet with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, CEOs and representatives from the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The European Parliament visit underscores EU support for President Benigno Aquino III's good governance and anti-corruption efforts that are making the country more attractive to European investment, Ledoux said.

Commenting on the arrival of the delegation, Ledoux said the members of the European Parliament are in the Philippines also to lend their political support to the peace process in Mindanao.

The delegation will travel to Mindanao for two days (February 13-14) for meetings with peace interlocutors in Southern Philippines including officials from the Armm, MILF, the International Monitoring Team, non-government and civil society organizations.

The delegation will also launch an EU demining project in Cotabato City on February 14.

The project benefits from a grant P29 million and is part of ongoing European Union support for de-mining efforts in Mindanao. It aims to reduce the threat from landmines and unexploded ordinances and will be implemented in collaboration with both the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The European parliamentarians are also scheduled to meet with House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Senator Edgardo Angara, chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales, and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to strengthen bilateral relations across the board.

The delegation will be composed of Chairman Werner Langen (Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Germany), Vice-Chairman Robert Goebbels (Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Luxembourg), Vice-Chairman Ivo Belet, (Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Belgium); Roger Helmer (Committee on Employment and Social Affairs Petitions, UK); Barbara Weiler (Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, Special Committee on Organized Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering, Germany); Slawomir Nitras (Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Poland ); and Adam Bielan (Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, Poland). (SDR/Sunnex)

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