Trade Secretary Fred Pascual sought the support of French businessmen for the resumption of negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement between the Philippines and the European Union, as well as the renewal of the EU Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (EU GSP+).
From January to April 2023, Philippine exports to the EU totaled $2.61 billion, 12% lower than the $2.87 billion reported in the same period last year.
In April alone, Philippine exports to Europe experienced a nearly 15% decline to $577.89 million.
Pascual is currently in Europe for a 19-day investment roadshow, with France being his first stop. His visit coincided with the Paris Air Show.
During his trip, Pascual and his delegation held a roundtable meeting with MEDEF International, a nonprofit organization funded privately and created by the French Business Confederation.
MEDEF International aims to promote French companies abroad, support trade, technological cooperation, investments, and forge long-term partnerships in emerging and developing markets.
Notably, MEDEF International organized a recent visit to the Philippines for its members.
Foreign direct investments from Europe witnessed a significant decline of 74% in the first quarter of 2023 to $5.8 million.
Overall, foreign direct investments fell 19.6% in the first quarter to $2.04 billion.
Investments from Japan, US, Canada, and Asia also saw decreases.