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The very first meeting of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) between the
Philippines and Switzerland was held last July 14-16, 2014 here in Manila.
Established in 2013 through an agreement concluded between the Swiss State
Secretary for Economic Affairs Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen and the Philippine
Secretary for Trade and Industry Gregory Domingo, the Swiss Delegates were
headed by Ambassador Livia Leu, Head of Bilateral Economic Relations of the
Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, while
Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
headed the Philippine delegation.

The meeting affirmed the commitment of both countries to promote mutually
beneficial bilateral trade and investments. It also served as a consultative
avenue to discuss bilateral, regional and multilateral developments relevant to
both countries.

“The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Philippine-Swiss
Business Council have played an important role in identifying areas of mutual
interest, which can be the basis for enhanced cooperation,” Cristobal said.
The JEC Meeting, which also included the participation of private sector
representatives, was followed by a Business Forum that offered a platform for
government and business to look at concrete ways for companies from both
countries to develop and strengthen trade and investment partnerships.

The PSBC represented the private business sector as a voice for both
countries. It was the first time that the Council was asked to represent both
the Council and Private Sectors, thereby contributing to, and complementing,
the success of the endeavor. PSBC Directors Messrs. Reiner Gloor and Luis
Mendez spoke on behalf of PSBC, reinforcing the role of PSBC as the channel
for initiating and facilitating business-related networking and activities between
the Philippines and Switzerland.

A part of their schedule included ocular business visits to selected Swiss
companies operating in the Philippines. ■