Bilateral relations between the Philippines and New Zealand took another major step forward with the recent holding of the Bilateral Consultations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Wellington.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday said a nine-member inter-agency delegation from the Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Tariff Commission, Intellectual Property Office-Philippines and Department of Justice was led by DTI Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo of the Industry Development Group.
The Philippine delegation met with New Zealand officials from the Foreign Affairs and Trade, Primary Industries, Environment and Business, Innovation and Employment ministries during the consultations.
Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade namely, Trade and Economic Group Deputy Secretary and TPP Lead Negotiator David Walker, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Lead Negotiator Mark Trainor and South East Asia Division Lead Adviser Stefan Corbett led the consultations with the Philippine delegation.
The Philippines and New Zealand officials discussed a wide range of issues of mutual and regional interest pertaining to TPP, RCEP and “the thriving bilateral relations between the two nations.”
“Both sides noted the developments in trade and investment relations as well as in development, geothermal energy, defense, tourism, education, and ICT cooperation,” the DFA said.
“Also discussed were measures being taken toward the smooth and successful conclusion of RCEP negotiations as well as the endeavors of the Philippines in ascertaining how its participation in TPP can be realized,” it added,
Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Virginia Benavidez and the Philippine delegation talked about key features of the discussions on the consultations regarding TPP, RCEP and the bilateral relations between Manila and Wellington.
The Philippine delegation briefed Benavidez via teleconference on Skype at the Philippine Embassy Chancery since the ambassador was in the Philippines.
A dinner was hosted by Minister and Consul General Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa and Vice Consul Glenn Joseph Obach on behalf of Benavidez for the Philippine delegation and New Zealand officials at Ang Bahay (Philippine ambassador’s residence).