THE Philippines and Switzerland recently mark an important milestone in their bilateral economic relations with the signing of the agreement establishing the Joint Economic Commission (JEC).
The agreement establishing the JEC institutionalizes a mechanism for regular dialogue and exchanges between the two countries on issues related to, among others, the business environment to improve and facilitate bilateral trade and investment flows.
The JEC will also serve as the platform to conclude other mutually beneficial economic agreements between the parties and provide the mechanism to organize consultations and official visits through delegations or missions to deal with specific economic and trade issues. It will also provide the opportunity for private sector participation and the development of initiatives with relevant business organizations.
Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo who signed the agreement or the Philippine side stated that this agreement is among the priorities of President Benigno Aquino 3rd. Secretary Ineichen-Fleisch is the signatory for the Swiss side. Immediately after the signing, the two secretaries had a bilateral meeting to discuss the next steps toward operationalizing the JEC and other economic issues affecting bilateral relations.
Domingo expressed his appreciation to the different line agencies for assisting the Department of Trade and Industry in negotiating and finalizing the agreement with SECO. He lauded the excellent coordination between the Philippine Embassy in Berne, Geneva Permanent Mission, Department of Foreign Affairs Manila and the Department of Trade and Industry for successfully concluding this initiative.