Marcos Seeks to Strengthen Trade with Germany and Czech Republic

TO EUROPE President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos depart from Villamor Airbase in Pasay City on Monday, March 11, 2024. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN
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President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. embarked on a working visit to Germany and a state visit to the Czech Republic, aiming to strengthen trade and cooperation between the Philippines and these two countries. In his predeparture speech at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City, the President emphasized the significance of these visits in deepening bilateral relations and exploring avenues for enhanced cooperation.

The President’s visit comes after the recent visits of Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala in April 2023 and German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in January this year. These interactions have paved the way for a pivotal moment in the efforts to strengthen ties with Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as the rest of the world.

Notably, the Philippines celebrated the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations with the Czech Republic last year and will commemorate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Germany this year. These milestones highlight the longstanding friendship between the Philippines and these European nations.

During his visit, President Marcos will engage in various meetings with key leaders. In Berlin, he is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, while in Prague, he will have separate meetings with President Petr Pavel, Prime Minister Petr Fiala, Senate President Miloš Vystrcil, and Chamber of Deputies President Markéta Pekarová Adamová. These meetings will provide an opportunity to discuss mutual interests and explore avenues for collaboration in different sectors.

In addition to political engagements, the President will also prioritize economic partnerships. He aims to meet with business leaders from Germany and the Czech Republic to bolster trade and investment opportunities between the countries. The President will also address the Filipino communities in both countries, providing updates on the administration’s programs for overseas Filipinos.

This visit to Germany and the Czech Republic marks the fifth and sixth foreign trips for President Marcos this year, and the 24th and 25th since assuming office in 2022. It reflects the administration’s commitment to fostering international relations and pursuing opportunities for growth and development.

In Berlin, President Marcos and Chancellor Scholz will witness the signing of several agreements. These include a maritime cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening collaboration between the two nations, as well as an agreement on technical skills and vocational education. The President will also seek Germany’s expertise in renewable energy to support the Philippines’ energy transition efforts and explore collaboration in various sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, aerospace, innovation and startups, IT-BPM, and mineral processing.

In the Czech Republic, the President will witness the signing of a joint communique on the establishment of labor consultation mechanisms. This agreement aims to ensure the safe and orderly migration of Filipino workers and provide a higher level of protection for their rights and welfare. Furthermore, additional agreements between the two governments are being finalized.

President Marcos expressed eagerness to invite German and Czech businesses to consider the Philippines as a production hub for their products. He emphasized the importance of productive discussions, fruitful collaboration, and memorable experiences that will further strengthen the enduring ties between the Philippines, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

Beyond economic and political cooperation, the President also aims to foster cultural understanding and enhance people-to-people exchange. He seeks to strengthen the bonds of historic friendship between the Philippines and both Germany and the Czech Republic. Meeting with the Filipino communities in Berlin and Prague, many of whom are overseas Filipino workers, President Marcos reaffirmed his commitment to their welfare and highlighted the importance of prioritizing the rights and well-being of overseas Filipino workers as labor cooperation with these countries expands.

The President’s visit to Germany and the Czech Republic signifies the Philippines’ commitment to deepening bilateral relations, exploring new opportunities, and fostering collaboration in various sectors. It serves as a testament to the administration’s proactive approach in enhancing international partnerships for the benefit of the Filipino people and the global community.

Source: The Manila Times

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