Global Value Chains (GVCs) and the importance of linking domestic industries to open and competitive global economic processes will be the main topic of the international conference “Openness and Integration of the EU and Russian Economies. Global Value Chains” organized by the Delegation of the European Union in Russia in cooperation with the St. Petersburg State University in the framework of the EU project "Public Diplomacy.
Глобальные цепочки стоимости и важность связи национальной промышленности с открытыми и конкурентоспособными глобальными экономическими процессами станут темой международной конференции «Открытость и интеграция экономик ЕС и России. Глобальные цепочки стоимости», которая организована Представительством Европейского Союза в Российской Федерации совместно с Санкт-Петербургским государственным университетом (СПбГУ) в рамках проекта «Общественная дипломатия. ЕС и Россия» и пройдет в Санкт-Петербурге 27 октября.
Speech of EU Ambassador Franz Jessen during the Opening of the EU-Philippines Business Summit in Manila:
It is a pleasure to welcome you to this important annual event. Since its inception in 2014, the EU-Philippine Summit has become the forum where business executives and policy-makers meet to celebrate the ties between the Philippines and the EU, and to discuss ways of deepening those ties. I am pleased to see so many friends, including many distinguished members of both branches of Government, and of the Philippine administration. Thank you for being here with us today.
Your presence here this morning sends an important signal that the EU and the Philippines work constructively together to bring our partnership forward.
Today is about business, and let me thank the businessmen and women present here this morning for you dedication and hard work. Your work provides a needed a welcome and needed base for our relationship.
I am also pleased to see so many of my colleagues from EU MS, who are doing a great job in promoting their national interests in addition to that of the EU.
On the business side you are doing a great job. For us on the so-called political side, the overall relations, it is important that we too – EU and the Philippines together do our best to promote our shared interests. Our interests are in fact deeply shared: strong beliefs in the rule of law, the multilateral system, the UN institutions, deep historical and cultural links and extensive people to people contacts. Europeans coming here feel easily at home and so do Filipinos going to Europe.
I am impressed by the programme, and especially by the panellists. They are among the finest minds on economic policy in the Philippines today. Thank you for agreeing to share your insights with us. Finally, I would also like to thank the EU-Philippine Business Network, to Gunter, Florian and Mark and all the stakeholders of this project. It is good to see how EU funds are using to bring businesses in the Philippines and in the EU closer together.
This year's EU-Philippines Business Summit marks a turning point, for three reasons:
Firstly, the political and the trade policy profile of Europe is changing. Europe is increasingly taking the lead in securing the multilateral trading system that has served the world so well in the past 70 years. We believe that the multi-lateral trading system serve us and the world best. It provides predictability, fairness by having and enforcing rules that are mutually and multilaterally binding. Without multilateral rules we risk returning to the law of the jungle. This would not be in the interest of ASEAN or of the EU.
The EU is increasingly fulfilling its leading role on the world stage. These past few months have seen the EU make huge strides on international trade. On 21 September, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) entered into force provisionally. In July, the EU and Japan reached an agreement in principle on the main elements of an EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. This will be the most important bilateral trade agreement ever concluded by the EU and as such will, for the first time, include a specific commitment to the Paris climate agreement. A Free Trade Agreement between the EU and ASEAN is also back on the cards. This was announced in March when the EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, attended the EU-ASEAN summit in Manila.
Secondly, the European economy is growing at a very healthy rate 2.4%. This has led to a significant increase in EU imports from the rest of the world, including the Philippines.
Last year, EU exports to the world increased by 16 percent. Our imports increased even more, by 17 percent.
In trade and economics, size matters, living in Manila as most of us do, we welcome and are impressed by the growth figures here. A growth rate of 6.5% signifies important economic opportunities.
This said, in Europe there are great opportunities for Philippine investors too. We have MS with growth rates approaching those that we see here in the Philippines. And of course given the size of the EU market the annual wealth creating in Europe is very, very large, 300-400 billion usd. These figures are even more impressive against the backdrop of a shrinking working age population.
There are great opportunities for Philippine companies in Europe.
Thirdly, the Philippines are enjoying, as never before, increased access to the EU's vast market. Since the end of 2014, the Philippines have enjoyed GSP+ status, and we are now seeing how exporters increasingly are using this special benefit extended to the Philippines.
In this context, the EU continues to be as is growing its importance as a major trade partner for the Philippines. Our bilateral relations will continue to support the Philippines' development agenda.
For years the EU has been and still is the largest provider of foreign direct investment in the Philippines. We create jobs, not only in Manila, but all over the country. During the first half of 2017, 29% of all newly reported, approved investments in the Philippines were sourced from the EU.
Philippine exports to the EU have increased remarkably, with the latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority showing an increase of 36% in the first half of 2017 alone. During this period, Philippine goods exported to the EU amounted to over 4.6 billion US dollars. This makes the EU the second largest export market for Filipino exporters. Particularly strong growth can be seen in sectors benefiting from GSP+ trade preferences, such as agri-food.
On agriculture, the EU is providing the best possible trade benefits for agri-food products. Exports in this sector from the Philippines to the EU reached almost 50 billion pesos last year. Let me stress that out of this, most entered the EU market duty free. This is a trade privilege that is unique for the Philippines.
The EU is also the second largest source of overseas remittances for the Philippines. For example, we recruit most of the Philippine seafarer officials. One out of four on EU registered vessels comes from the Philippines. Many more Filipinos live and work in Europe (over 800.000 people by the latest count in 2013). They contribute their skills to our economy and maintain ties with Europe.
The EU sees trade and investment as answers to poverty and as tools for inclusive growth. This positive agenda comes with an open dialogue to ensure that our partners reap the benefits of our trade relations. Doing business with Europe is about creating decent jobs, investing in skills and developing opportunities for small businesses.
A few weeks ago, in his State of the Union Address, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said, "the wind is back in Europe's sails". The EU will continue to be a factor of stability for the multilateral order. For the past 60 years, with the signing of the treaty of Rome, the values on which the European Union is built have not changed: peace, freedom, tolerance, solidarity and the rule of law. These values bind and unite Europeans.
I wish you fruitful and interesting discussions.
60,000 patrols is a tangible sign of the EU's continued commitment since 2008 in ensuring stability in Georgia, in particular along the Administrative Boundary Lines between the territory controlled by Georgian authorities and the two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.