21 April 2021 – Philippine Agriculture Secretary Dr. William Dollente Dar delivering his address during the webinar with French member-companies of MEDEF International

21 April 2021, Paris, France – MEDEF International and the Philippine Embassy in Paris co-organized with the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) a high-level virtual meeting today for member-companies of the French business confederation MEDEF, shining the spotlight this time on trade and investment opportunities in Philippine agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Dr. William Dollente Dar made the first presentation, providing an overview of the agricultural sector before zeroing on the areas of investments where French companies could be potential partners.

Secretary Dar enumerated the following investment areas that could be explored: dairy farming, livestock, poultry solutions & technologies; aquaculture and fish farming technologies; sustainable water technologies for irrigation; greenhouse technology; and smart agriculture. Also highlighted were opportunities in the production and processing of coconut, seaweeds, abaca, mango, shrimps, cacao and coffee.

DA Undersecretary Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero elaborated on the envisioned agri-industrial business corridors and other transformative projects of the government, including private-public partnerships (PPPs). She noted the potential investment areas in fisheries, marine and aquaculture, namely for: aquaculture grow-out cages and ponds; hatcheries for aquaculture production and post-harvest facilities such as for proessing plants, feed mills and cold chains. The Undersecretary provided more details on the existence of three special economic zones: the agro-industrial, the agro-forestry and the aquamarine ones.

The Q&A session that followed had clearly shown that particular topics discussed by the key DA officials had peaked the interest of several French businesses, who expressed their hope to continue the dialogue with DA and relevant industry players, beyond this webinar, on respective areas they wished to explore.

21 April 2021 – DA Undersecretary Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero makes her presentation for the webinar on the agro-industrial business corridors and other transformative projects of the Department

The webinar, moderated by the Chairman of MEDEF International’s France-Philippines Business Council, Mr. Philippe Louis-Dreyfus, included the participation of Ms. Aileen Mendiola-Rau, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the Philippine Embassy in Paris, H.E. Michèle Boccoz, French Ambassador to the Philippines, and other key representatives from the Philippine and French governments. A total of 98 participants were present at this virtual meeting.

21 April 2021 – Panelists, speakers and key organizers of the MEDEF International Webinar with the Philippine Department of Agriculture

In his closing remarks, Mr. François Burgaud, Chairman of Adepta, had affirmed the participants’ interest to have a series of sessions in the coming weeks to discuss in more detail prospects for cooperation or partnership, and expressed hope that the Philippine Embassy in Brussels’ Agriculture Office could assist in realizing this goal.

Adepta is a French business confederation made up of 200 agriculture and related companies. It will be merging with MEDEF International this year. MEDEF International prides itself as being the most representative organization of the French private sector at an international level. It has recently named Mr. Martin Ruby as its correspondent for the Philippines. END.