The Philippine government wants to further solidify the trade cooperation between Spain and the Philippines. Hence, it has informed the Spanish government of its desire to update the existing memorandum on agricultural cooperation between Manila and Madrid.
This message was delivered by Philippine Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Ralf Roldan during a recent courtesy call by members of the ASEAN Committee in Madrid (ACM) on Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food Luis Planas in the Spanish capital.
Roldan even gave a proposal of sending a business and agricultural interest mission to the Philippines before the agreement is updated and reviewed. The initial agreement was signed during the Arroyo administration back in 2007. Multilateral and bilateral interests with the Spanish agriculture minister were also discussed by Roldan and the ACM.
Spain’s Expertise in Agro-Food Industry
Minister Planas has cited Spain’s technical expertise in agriculture, fisheries, and food. He also offered possible technical collaboration with ASEAN.
“Spain is a country with a powerful agro-food industry with a clear export vocation,” said Planas.
The Spanish minister also added that his agency is willing to share experiences and his government is interested in strengthening agri-food trade exchanges with Southeast Asian countries.
The minister declared in the meeting that they had opened their first Regional Ministry for Southeast Asia in 2016 with residence in Singapore and accreditation to the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. This alone proves the importance of Southeast Asia to Spain.
Planas even added that his Ministry is putting more resources into opening agricultural offices in various Spanish foreign missions, which are separate from the commercial offices.
Five ASEAN countries with resident missions in Madrid compose the ACM. They include the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.