The Philippines and Switzerland marked an important milestone in their bilateral economic relations with the signing of the agreement establishing the Joint Economic Commission (JEC).
The agreement 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 for concluding other mutually beneficial economic agreements and providing the mechanism to organize consultations and official visits through delegations or missions to deal with specific economic and trade issues.
Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, who signed the agreement for the Philippines, said this agreement is among the priorities of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
Secretary Ineichen-Fleisch signed for the Swiss government.
Industry Development and Trade Policy Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said the JEC demonstrates the commitment of the two countries to strengthen and move forward their economic relations.
In 2012, Switzerland ranked as the country’s 23rd major trading partner out of 214 countries, 16th largest export market out of 212 countries and 29th top import supplier out of 171 countries.
Total trade was valued at $646.79 million with exports at $381.03 million and imports at $265.75 million.
Switzerland was the country’s fifth-largest export market in Europe for the same period.
ROSALIE C. PERIABRAS