The Philippines continues to strengthen economic relations with different countries amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said on Monday.
DTI held dialogues with Indonesia and the United Kingdom early this month. It will also convene a joint working group (JWG) meeting with India in the near future, Rodolfo told reporters in an online briefing.
“For Philippines-Indonesia (JWG), this is very important because among our Asean neighbors, we are the largest markets and we are also badly hit by the pandemic. So, we have a wide scope for cooperation,” he said.
The Philippines and Indonesia 8th JWG on Trade, Investments, Handicrafts, and Shipping was held last August 11, which was led by Rodolfo and Indonesian Ministry of Trade Director-General for International Trade Negotiations Iman Pambagyo.
As an offshoot of the meeting, the two countries aim to sign several memoranda of understanding on investment promotion, halal products quality assurance, and the creative economy.
Cooperation on textile and copper industries as well as fisheries and border trade will also be strengthened by Manila and Jakarta.
“The Philippines is committed to consider the proposals given its relevance to both the Philippines and Indonesia as archipelagic states with common borders and taking into account the developments in sub-regional integration,” Rodolfo added.
Following the JWG with Indonesia, DTI had its 2nd Economic Dialogue with the UK.
Rodolfo said these talks are also important as the Philippines positions to have good bilateral relations with countries developing the Covid-19 vaccines.
Both Indonesia and the UK are developing vaccines against the new coronavirus.
He added the meeting with the UK aims to look into new opportunities as the UK is set to officially leave the European Union by end of the year.
Meanwhile, the trade official said they will also have similar dialogues with Indian counterparts.
The Philippines aims to boost cooperation with India amid the pandemic as the south Asian country is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical suppliers, Rodolfo said.
Source: Philippines News Agency