Phl seeks deeper economic ties with Russia, Vietnam
The Philippines will seek to deepen economic cooperation with Russia and Vietnam through the convening of separate Joint Economic Commission (JEC) next week.
“Next week, we will have a JEC with Vietnam and also with Russia. These are vice minister-led discussions with Vietnam and Russia,” Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said.
A JEC serves as a platform to discuss trade, investments, economic cooperation and other related matters between two nations.
“For Russia, what’s very critical is infrastructure, energy and high-tech industries that include satellite, electronics, battery capture technologies and aerospace. So we will have a lot to discuss with Russia, that is just one part,” Rodolfo said.
He said also a topic for discussion is agricultural products, especially as Russia last year committed to buy $2.5 billion worth of agricultural products from the Philippines.
“For instance, there are products that they are sourcing from South America which enter through Vladivostok. What we are saying is that the Philippines is nearer to Vladivostok. So it’s very viable for some of our products coming from Mindanao going to the Russian market. The Russian market is also an alternative to our traditional markets,” Rodolfo said.
The trade official said the country is also looking at taking full advantage of the Generalized Scheme of Preferences of Russia through the Eurasian Economic Union.
Russia is seen as among the country’s new partners and allies under the current administration’s foreign policy.
For Vietnam, Rodolfo said the Philippines hopes to discuss and identify areas where both countries could work and benefit from.
“So in general, what we are after with these JECs and free trade agreements is toward diversifying our export base and also consolidating those near to us like China, ASEAN countries and Russia,” he said.