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Duterte wants Vietnam to buy more from PH

President Rodrigo Duterte has suggested Vietnam import more of Filipino food and value-added agri-based products to help narrow down the trade deficit against the Philippines.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, who accompanied the president on his second official trip abroad since his election, reported that Duterte made this suggestion to grow trade and to improve trade balance at the conclusion of bilateral talks with Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang.

President Rodrigo Duterte and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang raise their wine glasses in a toast during a state banquet at the International Centre in Vietnam on September 29. (ROBINSON NIÑAL/ Presidential Photo) / 2016.mb.com.ph

President Rodrigo Duterte and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang raise their wine glasses in a toast during a state banquet at the International Centre in Vietnam on September 29. (ROBINSON NIÑAL/ Presidential Photo) / 2016.mb.com.ph

Since the Philippines import rice and other products from Vietnam, Duterte asked the Vietnam president to also consider buying more Filipino food and value added agri-based product, furniture, construction materials, fabricated metals.

“Philippines currently has a trade deficit with Vietnam, which means the Philippines imports more than we export to Vietnam. We export mainly electronics, copper cathodes, smart cards, oil cakes while we import rice, transmission apparatus, coffee, cement clinkers, among others,” Lopez said.

Duterte also invited more Vietnamese companies to invest in the Philippines, and reiterated his commitment to a clean and fast registration system, to honor contracts and protect their investments.

He also thanked the Vietnam government in maintaining a conducive business environment and providing investment protection for Philippine companies to operate.

Both leaders agreed to expand bilateral cooperation beyond security, trade and investments but also in education and training.

The leaders also agreed to develop a Mutual Recognition Agreement on food safety especially for agri and aqua, fishing and marine resources products.
On the overall, Lopez said the series of bilateral meetings was a huge milestone as both leaders have established good and warm relationship that am sure will redound to deepening the ties between our two countries.

“The meeting naturally covered several matters that included working together towards maintaining peace progress and stability. There was an exchange of kind words and support on each other’s programs that am sure led to closer friendship between the two leaders,” he said.

Both leaders encouraged more mutual training programs, people-to-people exchange, sharing of scholars and experts, even enhancing cultural exchange.

The milestone achieved in this bilateral talks definitely strengthened the country’s trade and investment relationship with Vietnam moving forward.

Mechanisms like a Joint Trade Committee will be developed to operationalize these objectives, he said.

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