On March 25, 2015, the French Chamber of Commerce organized a business luncheon with the French Ambassador Gilles Garachon. The theme for this luncheon was the creation of the French Chamber Foundation.
This luncheon followed the first visit to the Philippines of French President François Hollande on February 26 and 27, 2015. During his visit, François Hollande adressed climate change issues and advocated for sustainable development ahead of the UN climate summit which will be held in Paris at the end of the year. President Hollande also highlighted the achievements of France-Philippines United Action and its conversion into a foundation of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines.
The luncheon started with an opening speech by French Ambassador Gilles Garachon who recapped the successful visit of the French President in the Philippines. Then, Mr. Demetrio “Jun” Salipsip, Executive Director of the American Chamber-Philippines Foundation, presented the story, evolution and projects of the Amcham Foundation which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. He had one advice for a well-functioning Chamber Foundation: “Take care of your donors as they are the financial backbones of your projects”. Finally, Mr. Dilip Vaswani, President and Managing Director of Total Philippines as well as the Chairman of FP-UA, took the floor to talk about the origins and achievements of FP-UA. He also expanded on the current projects, mainly the completion of site 1 and the on-going construction of site 2 in Daanbantayan, Cebu. He also mentioned the creation of a 3rd village which will be erected in Bogo City. In addition, he emphasized the official conversion of France-Philippines United Action into the French Chamber Foundation.
These presentations were topped by a final panel discussion including the three guest speakers as well as Christophe Riout, President of the French Chamber of Commerce, as well as Steven Rouche, Managing Director of the French Chamber of Commerce. Several questions were asked by the public mainly concerning the mission and future projects to be undertaken by the French Chamber Foundation. The conclusion of this luncheon was then delivered in the form of a short speech by the French Chamber President, Mr. Christophe Riout.