THE Philippine Russian Business Assembly (PRBA) Inc. expressed its support for President Rodrigo Duterte and his initiative to expand trade relations with Russia.
Russian Honorary Consul Armi Lopez Garcia, who also chairs the PRBA, issued the statement following the President’s assertion that he would strengthen the country’s economic relationship with China and Russia.
“We, in the PRBA, are fully supporting this initiative of President Duterte,” Garcia said. “The president’s declaration bolsters our very own initiative, which is for the furtherance of our business ties with Russia.”
The Russian Federation’s trade with the Philippines crumbled in 2005 when the world plunged into one of the worst financial crises ever.
As the decline continued for three years at an average rate of 14.55 percent, the two countries saw the need to revitalize their gradually failing trade relationship. Thus, the PRBA, composed of Filipino and Russian businessmen and academicians, was established in 2009.
In 2011, as proof of the PRBA’s unswerving commitment, the organization signed a memorandum of agreement with the Russian-Philippine Business Council to strengthen the economic ties between the two countries.
The PRBA is also focusing on the expansion of tourism.
Marita Limlingan, PRBA member and Philippine representative of Russian airline Aeroflot, said Duterte’s pronouncements will give the tourism industry a boost as this translates to more tourists from Russia.
“We hope to generate more trade opportunities and strengthen our bilateral relationship with Russia through tourism,” Limlingan said.
The PRBA seeks to expand trade relations with Russia on tourism and wellness; mining and energy; education and culture; labor, placement services and outsourcing and real estate.