Aquino woos Euro investments

President Benigno Aquino III delivers his statement at the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. AP

President Benigno Aquino III delivers his statement at the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. AP

PARIS/ROME—President Benigno Aquino III wrapped up a working visit to France on Tuesday with a series of meetings with prospective and current European investors before heading to Rome and the Vatican later that day on the final leg of his official visit to Europe.

The business meetings followed the President’s attendance at the climate change summit in the Paris suburb of Le Bourget where he joined the call for a legally binding agreement for all nations to take concrete steps to avert climate disaster.

Mr. Aquino met with officials of CRH, an Ireland-based global building materials firm, to discuss their cement manufacturing and expansion plans in the Philippines.

CRH, which is in partnership with Aboitiz Equity Ventures, is the first and largest Irish investment in the Philippines.

The President also held meetings with several European companies wishing to start or expand operations in the Philippines.

He met with officials of the Jacobi Carbons Group, a Swedish company that recently set up an activated carbon manufacturing facility in the Philippines.

The company focuses on investing in countryside development, particularly in Mindanao, sourcing raw materials from local coconut farmers.

Mr. Aquino also discussed with Airbus officials an “enhanced cooperation” between the government and the airplane manufacturer as the Philippine aviation industry “is ramping up with new capacity and the country has now become a high potential source of components for plane manufacturing,” said Communications Sec. Herminio Coloma Jr. who joined the President at the meeting.

Coloma said “significant” components from the Airbus A350 are manufactured in the Philippines, including actuators (a type of motor), galleys and toilets.

The President and Airbus officials also agreed to further discuss the possibility for a joint development and production of an Airbus aircraft.

Mr. Aquino met with officials of the Sanofi drug company, as a follow-up to the meeting they held in China last year where they discussed the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s dengue vaccine.

The Philippines is one of 15 countries where Sanofi is testing the efficacy of its dengue vaccine. It has completed 20 clinical studies, with five still ongoing.
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