Music Room, Malacañan Palace
7 September 2015
President Benigno S. Aquino III received Ambassador Ivo Sieber of Switzerland in a farewell call as the envoy ends his five-year tour of duty to the Philippines.
The Swiss diplomat was accompanied by the embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission Raoul Imbach.
During his tenure, relations between the two countries have been further strengthened, with Switzerland assisting the Philippines in disaster preparedness and humanitarian laws. These include emergency relief efforts amounting to CHF 600,000 when Typhoon Bopha (local name: Pablo) hit Mindanao on December 2012.
Last year, a Swiss business delegation visited the country for possible investments in several industries such as business process management, pharmaceuticals, metal recycling and finance development.
Currently, the Philippines is the sixth largest trading partner of Switzerland in Southeast Asia. Around 60 Swiss companies operate in the country employing about 15,000 Filipinos.
Diplomatic relations between the two nations was established in 1957 although close economic relations have been developed since the middle of the 19th century. In 1862, a Swiss consulate was opened in Manila, the first official Swiss representation in Asia.
Also present in the farewell call were Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Ma. Cleofe Natividad and Director Josephine Reynante.