SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and other members of the Philippine Senate delegation in France met with the country’s businessmen and private sector leaders to discuss potential opportunities and areas of economic cooperation on the second official day of their parliamentary visit to the European country.
On Wednesday, October 26, Go, with Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, had a meeting with energy and transportation sector leaders to explore possible opportunities for investments in the Philippines.
The senator said that the meetings also serve to provide an opportunity to discuss potential avenues of collaboration between the Philippines and France in key industries.
“It is my hope that through these discussions, we will be able to identify potential areas in which the Philippines and France could collaborate for the benefit of both countries, particularly in the fields of energy, defense, and transportation,” said Go.
France continues to be one of the top 20 trading partners of the Philippines.
On the same day, Go, together with his colleagues, also attended another meeting with the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) of France.
The ASN is an independent administrative authority, which participates in regulating nuclear safety, radiation protection, and nuclear activities in France.
After the meetings, Go and the other senators were also invited to a luncheon hosted by Sen. Mathieu Darnaud from the France-South East Asian Friendship Group.
Aside from Go and Zubiri, the Philippine delegation also includes Senate President Pro Tempore Lorna Regina “Loren” Legarda, Senate Majority Leader Emmanuel “Joel” Villanueva, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Joseph Victor Ejercito, and Senators Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Maria Lourdes “Nancy” Binay, and Mary Grace Poe.
During the first official day on Tuesday, October 25, the Philippine senators met with representatives from the Economic Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly and the Atomic Energy Commission of France. They also met with France’s Senate President Gérard Larcher and other members of the upper chamber.
Go, who also heads the Senate Committee on Health, stated that the visit also serves as an opportunity to personally thank members of the French government for its multi-million Covid-19 vaccine donation to the Philippines through the Covax Facility at the height of the pandemic, noting that the assistance provided a significant boost to the country’s national vaccination program.
“Filipinos will forever be grateful to you for this act of kindness, which went a long way toward ensuring the success of our vaccination program and the safety of our citizens against the threat of Covid-19,” he said.
In 2021, at the height of the pandemic, the French government donated millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines to the Philippines.
Go noted that this official parliamentary visit in France has resulted in a fruitful exchange of ideas and best practices between the Philippine delegation and their French counterparts, especially in relevant fields and mutual interests of the two countries.
In March 2019, a delegation from the France-South East Asia Parliamentary Friendship Group of the French Senate also visited the Philippines.
The Philippines and France commemorate the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.
Formal diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on June 26, 1947.
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