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France and Philippines

Political relations

High-level visits have taken place on both sides in recent years, including President François Hollande’s visit to the Philippines in February 2015, President Benigno Aquino’s visit to Paris in September 2014 and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s visit to Manila and Cebu in October 2012. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, travelled to the Philippines in late June 2019.

France is monitoring with concern the anti-drugs campaign underway in the Philippines. On several occasions, it has called on the Philippine authorities to meet their international human rights commitments, particularly with regard to extrajudicial executions and the plan to reinstate the death penalty.

French presence

Around 3,000 French nationals are registered with the consulate. Over two-thirds of the French community live in Manila and neighbouring cities, with about one thousand in the Visayas and about one hundred in Mindanao.

Visits

  • Visit to Manila and Cebu by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (October 2012);
  • Visit to Paris by President Benigno Aquino (September 2014);
  • Visit by French President François Hollande (February 2015);
  • Visit by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (June 2019).

Economic relations

In 2019, the Philippines accounted for 7% of exports and 5.7% of French imports from ASEAN States. Within the ASEAN, the Philippines ranks as France’s sixth largest customer and seventh-largest supplier. Since December 2014, the Philippines has benefitted from the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+), granting preferential access to the European market.
In 2019, French exports and imports were €1.14 billion and €1.06 billion respectively. France posted a trade surplus with the Philippines of €83.5 million in 2019, up from €37 million in 2018. Among the ASEAN Member States, the Philippines represents France’s second largest bilateral trade surplus (after Singapore with €5.2 billion and ahead of Brunei with €7 million).

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Cultural cooperation is focused on gastronomy (Goût de France / Good France), dance, music (Fête de la Musique / Music Day), photography and fashion.
A monthly cultural event was launched in October 2018 and has had success on the diplomatic and cultural scene. There has also been an annual French Film Festival since 1995.

There are partnerships between French and Philippine research centres or regional centres based in the Philippines (French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD)), in volcanology and agronomy, or in collaboration with the National Museum of the Philippines on the theme of resilience and natural disasters. Scientific cooperation is structured with the help of the Hubert Curien Partnership, which has been active since 2020.

For more information, visit the following websites:

Updated: 30 august 2022