President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is likely to visit France, but still no definite date yet when it will happen, according to the French ambassador to the Philippines.
Ambassador Michèle Boccoz could not say however, when Marcos will visit her country.
“It’s really too soon to say what’s going to happen. There are exchanges at the moment,” Boccoz said, during an interview with reporters at her residence.
“The teams are going to work on that; I cannot tell you more. Discussions are ongoing,” Boccoz said.
Marcos and French President Emmanuel Macron talked over the phone last Sept. 16.
The two leaders agreed to boost bilateral relations in terms of low-carbon energy, food security, defense, and human exchanges, the French Embassy in Manila said.
Marcos and Macron also met on Sep. 21 at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Boccoz did not say if there was an invitation that came from Macron during their meetings, but France is “very happy to welcome” Marcos Jr.
The envoy said the level of preparations for the event will vary depending on the type of visit. She said, there will be more preparation if it will be official visit, and not a working visit.
The envoy stressed that it needs even more preparations if it is going to be a state visit, she said.
Boccoz also said the Philippines and France have formed a task force to facilitate talks on expanded cooperation on security and energy, among others.
But she added that no date has been set for the meeting, although a mission from France is expected to fly to Manila once details have been finalized.
The task force was formed following the telephone conversation and meeting between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month.
“We’re looking at the situation. What we can offer, what are the areas that we could focus on,” Boccoz told the reporters.
On energy, Boccoz said the two countries could particularly work on small nuclear reactors, which she said fits the Philippines as an archipelago.
“We’re moving to a new technology which is small nuclear reactors, and this is something that is very much adapted to the geography of the Philippines in the sense that you can have modular, smaller units that can be on islands and you don’t need to have a huge grid or to have a huge production somewhere. This is an area where we’re going to work more closely,” she said.