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2 October 2014, Lille – After the successful official visit of H.E. President Benigno S. Aquino III to Paris on 17-19 September 2014, Philippine Ambassador to France, Ms. Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro, conducted her first mission outside Paris by going to Lille, the capital of France’s Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region.

During her mission to Lille, Ambassador Lazaro visited the Catholic University of Lille, also known as La Catho, and met with the Filipino students currently studying there. La Catho has a partnership with the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) since 2005 and with the De La Salle University (DLSU) since 2007. Since the establishment of these two partnerships, over 250 French students have gone to the Philippines, while almost 200 Filipino students have gone to Lille.

“After Ateneo and La Salle, which are some of the best schools we have in the Philippines, I hope that we can expand our cooperation with La Catho to include other schools and  fields of study”, Ambassador Lazaro said.

Second stop for the Ambassador was the regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) where she met with officials from both the CCI and the World Trade Center. The officials welcomed the Ambassador’s visit and looked forward to working with the Philippines, particularly in preparation for CAP ASEAN 2015, a regular CCI event which brings together representatives from various regional CCIs in charge of assisting French companies interested in doing business in ASEAN. CAP ASEAN 2015 is supposed to take place in Manila in the first half of 2015.

Last stop for the Ambassador was the headquarters of Groupe ADEO, the French leader in the do-it-yourself (DIY)/home improvement sector, which was studying the ASEAN market for its business.

Lille and the Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region is one of the most dynamic regions in France, sitting at the crossroads of Paris, London anad Brussels and having three major ports (Calais, Dunkerque and Boulogne). Lille is also home to a number of family-owned French multinationals such as Groupe ADEO.

Oct 02-a

 From L to R Philippine Honorary Consul in Lille Sabine Loridant, H.E. Ambassador Ma. Theresa       Lazaro,Third Secretary and Vice Consul Rapunzel Acop

Oct 02-b

H.E. Ambassador Lazaro addresses faculty heads of the Catholic University of Lille

Oct 02-c

H.E. Ambassador Lazaro with members of faculty and French and Filipino students at the Catholic University of Lille