JEC MEETING. The 9th Philippines-France Joint Economic Committee (JEC) meeting held on July 2, 2021 strengthens the bilateral partnership between the two countries. Officials from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness joined the high-level economic dialogue. (Photo courtesy of DTI)

MANILA – OCEA, a shipbuilding firm in northwest France, has expressed its intent to build a PHP1.5-billion shipyard in the country.
In a statement Wednesday, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said OCEA is just one of the investment interests from France that the country has cornered during the 9th Philippine-France Joint Economic Committee (JEC) meeting last July 2.
OCEA’s shipyard here is expected to create up to 600 jobs.
During the high-level economic dialogue, French Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Franck Riester also presented three letters of intent confirming financial support for the upcoming projects of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), financial aid in support of a training boat contract for the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA); and a possible maritime expert proposal.
Lopez also handed over to Riester the intent of the Bases Conversion Development Authority to partner with France for the next phase study of the Clark Fresh Food Hub, as well as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines’ intent to renew aviation technical training programs.
Lopez and Riester also discussed possible cooperation in different sectors such as energy, film and animation, and agriculture.
“This JEC meeting is a testament to how the Philippines and France are now rebuilding together, after global challenges faced during the early phase of the pandemic,” Lopez said.
The JEC with France is the country’s longest-running high-level economic dialogue with a European country.
The 10th Philippines-France JEC meeting will be conducted in Paris in 2022.
But even before the next JEC meeting, Riester announced that he will visit the Philippines before the year ends. (PNA)