Phl deepens econ links with Russia
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - May 7, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -  The Philippines and Russia are making great strides towards enhancing economic relations following the country’s successful hosting of the inaugural meeting of the Philippines–Russia Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation (JCTEC), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

The DTI said the first JCTEC meeting held last April 28 tackled economic cooperation initiatives in areas such as trade, investments, iron and steel and aviation industries, peaceful use of nuclear energy, higher education, energy, information and communications technology, intellectual property, agriculture, transportation, science and technology, tourism, and labor.   

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said through the JCTEC, bilateral trade and investment figures between Philippines and Russia are expected to get a boost, especially as the country looks to tap vast opportunities in the Russian market.

“With President Duterte’s pursuit of an independent foreign policy, DTI leads strengthened bilateral engagements with non-traditional partners, in this case Russia,” Lopez said. 

The JCTEC serves as a preparation for the visit of President Duterte to Russia this month.

The DTI said outcome of the JCTEC has likewise laid the groundwork for capitalizing on the huge potentials in bilateral economic relations between Russia and the country.

The Philippines-Russia JCTEC was established in November 2015 under the agreement signed during bilateral talks on the sidelines of the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Manila.

According to the DTI, top tier Russian business delegates have also met recently with Philippine business counterparts to ensure continued and improved business-to-business partnerships.

Lopez earlier said Filipino businessmen are lining up to join a delegation that will accompany President Duterte in his visit to Russia. He said at least 100 business executives are expected to sign up and join Duterte’s trip.

During his visit, the President intends to have a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he already met in November 2016, during the APEC Summit in Peru.

On that meeting, Russia has committed to import $2.5 billion worth of agricultural products from the Philippines.

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