FRANCE is keen on investing further in the Philippine aviation industry, according to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory Domingo.
Domingo told reporters that there will be more purchases of aircraft parts from the Philippines by multiples within the next 15 years.
“By more than tenfold for the next 15 years,” the trade chief said. Domingo recently completed a trade mission to France.
He said more facilities are expected to be put up in the country accompanied by an increase of orders because the Philippine aerospace industry is becoming a significant contributor in the supply value chain globally.
However, he did not divulge the names of companies that are planning to put up maintenance, repairs and operations (MRO) in the country.
The domestic aerospace industry contributed an estimated 0.15 percent share of the 2013 gross domestic product, which is projected to increase to 0.57 percent of GDP by 2022.
The sector contributes 2,200 jobs in direct employment, generating an estimated $10 million as salaries of direct and allied workers. It expects to generate $1.5 billion in revenues in the next 10 years.
While in Paris, Domingo met with French Minister of State for Foreign Trade Mathias Fekl to reconvene the Philippines-France Joint Economic Committee (JEC) after a 12-year hiatus. The PH-France JEC was established in 1994 and was last convened in 2003.
The high-level meeting follows through a political commitment between President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd and French President Francois Hollande when the two heads of state met in September 2014 and February 2015.
Domingo welcomed the reactivation of the Philippines-France JEC, saying that this was an integral part of the Philippines’ overall strategy for Europe.
The Philippines has been aggressively pursuing trade partnerships with the European Union (EU) and was given beneficiary country status under the EU Generalized System of Preferences Plus (EU-GSP+).
EU-GSP+ grants the Philippines, as beneficiary country, tariff free exports for more than 6,000 products.
Meanwhile, JEC focuses on broadening cooperation in the areas of creative industries, tourism, sustainable development, aerospace, and aeronautics.
“The aerospace and aeronautics sector is an area that both PH and France are eager to pursue,” said DTI Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr.
“This is a growing sector with huge potential for the Philippines to become an aerospace hub in the field of aircraft maintenance and production. We welcome the commitment to deepen existing cooperation between the civil aviation agencies of the Philippines and France and the companies in the aerospace sector,” Cristobal said.
Likewise, both countries acknowledge the commitment to achieving the objectives for the forthcoming Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) which France will host. COP21 focuses on adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
To highlight the Philippines’ commitment to sustainable development, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) representatives met with urban planning companies involved in ‘smart cities’ development such as Dassault Systems, Vivapolis and Archetype.
The next JEC meeting will be in Manila in 2016. Preparatory seminars and conferences will be conducted to advance and implement cooperation measures on participating in the global supply chain for aerospace; collaboration on the creative industries sector; responsible tourism, “eco-tourism” and the relationships between tourism and development; participation in the global supply chain for agriculture, animal health, responsible food and protection of fishery resources; and the fight against the effects of climate change and natural disasters, among others.