PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte and Vietnam President, Tran Dai Quang mutually agreed and vowed to spur trade and investments between two countries.

This, as a result of President Duterte’s official visit to Vietnam last September 28 and 29.

The good news was disclosed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on Thursday, September 29.

"The Presidents of both countries, Philippines and Vietnam, have agreed to really level up the trade that we have. In other words, increase the trade numbers that we have, essentially, since the Philippines still has a lot of products that have great potential in the Vietnam market," he said.

During the meeting, Lopez said, Duterte and Quang agreed to develop a Joint Trade Committee between countries “to operationalize efforts to increase trade.”

Trade between the two nations will be focused in agriculture as both countries are agriculture-based. Vietnam has been the Philippines’ source of 48% of the country’s total rice imports.

The bilateral exchange of expertise and best practices in the fields of agriculture and education between countries was also proposed.

Both Presidents agreed to develop a Mutual Recognition Agreement on food safety, especially for products in the agriculture and fisheries sectors.

But Lopez clarified that no trade agreements were signed during the meeting, however Lopez underscored there is a "mutual understanding" that Vietnam will continue supplying the Philippines with its rice requirements.

Lopez also expressed that Duterte said, under his administration, he wants to solve the “trade deficits” that results from the Philippines importing more than it exports to Vietnam.

The Philippine President also urged the Vietnamese to import more products from the Philippines

"The President himself asked for cooperation from the Vietnam people to consider importing products from Philippines as we import rice from Vietnam," said Lopez.
Lopez added that some potential Philippine products that can be marketed in Vietnam are high-value agricultural products, furniture, construction materials and fabricated metals.

Meanwhile, a number of Filipino companies have conquered the Vietnam market including RC, San Miguel, the Ayala group, Jollibee, and Splash.
"Now, the President invited, in return, Vietnamese corporations: 'Invest in the Philippines, we will protect your investors, your investments, contracts will be honored,'" Lopez shared. AJRSP

Source: Rappler

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