Official Visit of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to the Philippines, October 19 to 21, 2012 [fr]
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault undertook an official visit to the Philippines from October 19 to 21, 2012, marking the first official visit of a French Head of Government to the Philippines since the establishment of bilateral relations between the two countries 65 years ago.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Minister for External Trade Nicole Bricq, Minister in Charge of French Citizens Abroad Hélène Conway-Mouret, and a delegation composed of over 100 personalities, which included members of the French Parliament and businessmen.
A joint press conference was organised where the Prime Minister and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III recalled their two countries’ shared commitnment to democratic values, as well as the shared will to strengthen political, economic and cultural relations between France and the Philippines.
This commitment was marked by the signature of a number of economic and cultural agreements witnessed by Prime Minister Ayrault and President Aquino.
Among these was an agreement concerning the grand exhibition dedicated to the Philippines entitled "Philippines: An Archipelago of Exchanges" at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris from April to July 2013, and another to support a biomass project in the Philippines. Two other agreements on the aerospace and automobile industries were also signed in the presence of French Minister Bricq and Cabinet Secretaries from the Philippines led by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima during a business forum attended by over 400 participants.
The Prime Minister also visited the Virlanie Foundation, a French NGO based in Makati City, before addressing the French community at a reception.
From Manila, the Prime Minister traveled to Cebu to inspect an important cooperation project on the development of a bus rapid transit system supported by the French Development Agency and the World Bank, in cooperation with the local government. The Prime Minister also inaugurated the new building of the Alliance Française de Cebu.