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Switzerland and Philippines seek to boost trade ties

The Swiss foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, says the Philippines should improve conditions for foreign investors


Switzerland and the Philippines have expressed their interest in boosting ties, during the visit to the country by the Swiss foreign minister, Joseph Deiss.

Deiss told his Philippines counterpart, Domingo Siazo, at a news conference in Manila on Wednesday that the two nations should work towards intensifying their relationship. He said much needed to be done.

Deiss said believed the "chapter will soon be closed" on the issue of funds deposited by the late Philippines dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, in Swiss bank accounts.

The visit to the Philippines by Deiss is the first by a Swiss foreign minister.

A number of issues remain to be resolved. A bilateral double taxation treaty, due to have been ratified, still needs to be approved by the Philippines senate.

An accord on using the Swiss Disaster Relief Corps in the Philippines in times of emergency is also still under discussion.

Both sides expressed their desire to boost commercial ties. At the press conference, Deiss also mentioned Swissair's desire to improve its air links to the Philippines.

The Philippines foreign minister said Switzerland was more than welcome to increase the number of firms settling in the Philippines. Deiss responded by saying that this could only be achieved if political stability and investor-friendly laws were introduced.

Deiss will conclude his visit to the Philippines on Friday, when he will travel on to Bangladesh. By Sunday, he will have completed his eight-day tour of Asia.

swissinfo with agencies

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