President Marcos Jr. to Strengthen Ties and Seek Investments in Germany and Czech Republic

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The Philippines is set to strengthen its ties with Germany and the Czech Republic through various agreements on maritime and labor cooperation. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and first lady Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos have been invited for a working visit to Berlin and a state visit to Prague from March 11 to 15. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced these upcoming visits and highlighted the focus on enhancing trade and investment opportunities between the countries.

During the visits, President Marcos will engage in meetings with high-ranking officials and participate in business forums. The aim is to invite prominent German and Czech business leaders to increase their presence in the Philippines. The DFA Office of European Affairs Assistant Secretary Maria Elena Algabre emphasized that German and Czech companies have shown interest in investing in renewable energy, manufacturing, healthcare, aerospace, and innovation sectors in the Philippines.

In Germany, President Marcos will witness the signing of a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) on strengthening cooperation in the maritime sector. This agreement, to be signed by the transportation agencies of both countries, aims to facilitate maritime trade and the mobility of Philippine- and German-owned commercial vessels. Algabre highlighted the significance of a robust shipping industry in the Philippines for the employment of Filipino seafarers, who make up one-third of seafarers worldwide.

Furthermore, a cooperation program between the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) will be signed. This program aims to continue the partnership between Tesda and BIBB in technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

In Prague, President Marcos will meet with Czech President Petr Pavel, Prime Minister Petr Fiala, Senate President Miloš Vystrčil, and the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Markéta Pekarová Adamová. The visit follows the previous visits to Manila by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. During the visit, a joint communiqué will be signed to establish a consultation mechanism for the safe and orderly migration of Filipino workers to the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic aims to attract more skilled and professional Filipinos, particularly in the tourism sector.

Assistant Secretary Algabre also mentioned that there are other agreements in the pipeline, indicating the continuous efforts to enhance cooperation between the Philippines and the Czech Republic. The DFA is closely working with the Czech side to finalize these agreements.

President Marcos will also have the opportunity to meet with Filipino communities in Germany and the Czech Republic, fostering connections and understanding between the countries. This year, the Philippines will commemorate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Germany.

Trade between the Philippines and Germany has been significant, with a total value of $3.91 billion in 2022. Germany ranked as the Philippines’ 12th trading partner, 10th market export, and 15th import supplier. These visits and agreements aim to further strengthen economic ties and open doors for increased bilateral trade and investment opportunities.

In conclusion, the upcoming visits of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Germany and the Czech Republic mark a significant step towards strengthening cooperation between the Philippines and these European nations. The focus on enhancing trade and investment opportunities, as well as signing agreements on maritime and labor cooperation, demonstrates the commitment of both sides to deepen their relationship. These developments hold promising prospects for economic growth and mutually beneficial partnerships between the countries.

Source: The Manila Times

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