After recognizing the need to boost economic cooperation between the Philippines and Oman, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Bilateral Consultations that will formally establish a mechanism to expand bilateral cooperation in various areas.
The signing of the MOU came after the 2nd Philippines-Oman Informal Bilateral Consultations (IBC) at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City on February 4 (Tuesday).
The MOU will create a formal mechanism “that will convene regularly to expand bilateral cooperation in political, economic, cultural, technological, scientific and educational matters.”
During the meeting, both countries admitted that there is a need to boost its trade relations despite Oman’s hosting of 33,000 Filipinos.
“Both sides agreed that economic cooperation is a cornerstone of bilateral relations and should be promoted,” the Foreign Affairs department said.
“To address this, the Omani side recommended the exchange of visits between the private sectors of both countries to take advantage of opportunities present in the two countries,” it added.
They also recommended that Philippine universities participate in an educational exhibition in Muscat to encourage thousands of Omani government scholars to pursue higher education in the Philippines.
Other issues discussed were the status of pending bilateral agreements and prospective areas of future cooperation.
The Philippine delegation was led by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Jesus Yabes. He opened the meeting by welcoming the Omani delegates led by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ahmed bin Yousef Al-Harthy.
Yabes express hopes that the discussions would pave the way for greater Philippines-Oman economic activities. BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON