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Couchepin ends Asian tour on economic note

President Pascal Couchepin has held talks with Swiss business representatives at the end of his visit to the Philippines.

This content was published on August 12, 2008 - 15:34

About 60 companies were present at a meeting on Tuesday in the capital, Manila, along with three local government ministers, according to Couchepin's spokesman.

The ministers called for more Swiss investment in the Philippines, while company representatives praised the country as an attractive place to do business because of the young, well-trained and affordable labour force.

Earlier in the day Couchepin visited Asia's biggest international institute for research into rice that has received SFr41 million ($37.6 million) in Swiss funding since 1979.

He met his Philippines counterpart Gloria Arroyo on Monday to discuss the concept of federalism in light of long-running rebellions in the Muslim island of Mindanao.

The visit to Manila marked the conclusion of Couchepin's nine-day tour of Asia, including trips to China for the Olympics and Vietnam.

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