Czech prime minister to visit RP
- Pia Lee-Brago () - September 5, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced yesterday that Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer will arrive in Manila tomorrow for a two-day official visit.

Fischer, who was invited by President Arroyo to visit the country, will make a courtesy call on the President in Malacañang on Monday and a bilateral meeting between the two leaders and members of their delegation will follow. The aim is to expand political cooperation, boost trade and economic ties, and deepen cultural ties of the two nations.

Fischer last visited the Philippines in October 2007 when he attended the International Statistical Conference in Manila as chairman of the Czech Statistics Office.

Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Czech Republic were established through the signing of a joint communiqué by the Philippines and the former Czechoslovakia on Oct. 5, 1973.

Philippine-Czech historical links trace as far back as the 19th century with the deep friendship of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal and Czech scholar Prof. Ferdinand Blumentritt, the earliest symbols of the two countries’ shared values of freedom and respect for individual liberties.

Bilateral trade between the Philippines and the Czech Republic in 2008 amounted to $151 million. Philippine exports to the Czech Republic are mainly special electronics components, garments, furniture, tropical fruits and agricultural products.

The Czech Republic provides Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Philippines through two projects – financial assistance in the amount of 1.3 million to ensure safe drinking water supply in Manila and the improvement of waste management in Naga City worth 390,000.

An endearing symbol of the vibrant Philippine-Czech economic relations is the 73 Czech-made air-conditioned train coaches used by the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) on EDSA.

CZECH CZECH PRIME MINISTER JAN FISCHER CZECH REPUBLIC CZECH STATISTICS OFFICE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DR. JOSE RIZAL AND CZECH FERDINAND BLUMENTRITT FISCHER INTERNATIONAL STATISTICAL CONFERENCE METRO RAIL TRANSIT PHILIPPINES AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC
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