Philippines and Myanmar governments will strengthen bilateral economic relations, specifically on areas of trade and investment, agro-industry, food security and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“The meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Myanmar’s top leaders [President U Htin Kyaw, State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi] touched on mutually beneficial strategies to increase trade and investment, to develop MSMEs and to provide agri-technical assistance,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Wednesday.
Lopez was part of the Philippine delegation during the presidential visit to Myanmar on March 20.
Both countries expressed interest in improving agricultural technology, which includes capacity-building measures, education cooperation and exchange of best practices through agricultural specialists and experts.
Specifically, the meeting between Filipino and Myanmese officials explored approaches to advance efficient production of hybrid rice and piña fiber clothing.
“By and large, there was heightened interest to increase investment in Philippine agriculture and food processing. All these initiatives will be under a Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation,” Lopez added.
Meanwhile, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on food security and agricultural cooperation between the Philippines and Myanmar was also signed.
The MOU aims at making food accessible and affordable, including through promotion of joint development ventures, conduct of research and development (R&D) transfer or technology transfer, sourcing of raw materials for value addition and conduct of training and capacity-building both in technological and managerial levels.
Also, the MOU indicates that Myanmar is welcome to study Philippine agriculture, Lopez said.
“Of course, as chair of Asean, the Philippines consistently sought Myanmar’s support for the region’s deliverables this year, touching on increasing trade and investment, integrating MSMEs into the global value chain and promoting an innovation-driven economy,” he said.
The Asean consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.