President Benigno Aquino III and Chile President Michelle Bachelet on Monday met at Malacañang Palace with the first woman Chilean leader seeking to deepen the two country’s diplomatic relations which will celebrate 70th anniversary next year. During their expanded bilateral meeting, the two leaders agreed to strengthen relations on trade, disaster risk management, energy and agriculture.
Bachelet said the relation between Chile and the Philippines is the oldest tie that the Latin American country has formed with a member country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“On July 4, 2016, we will celebrate 70 years of relation between both nations and this visit has been an excellent opportunity to deepen our ties and establish a substantial work agenda in the bilateral and multilateral areas,” Bachelet said in her press statement after the two leaders’ bilateral talks.
Bachelet thanked President Aquino for the invitation while inviting the Philippines leader to also visit Chile “as soon as possible.” Bachelet’s state visit has resulted to the signing of two agreements on trades and disaster risk management cooperation.
Department of National Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin and Chile Foreign Affairs Minister Heraldo Muñoz signed the agreement on disaster risk management cooperation, with “special emphasis on the process of prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and rehabilitation.”
On the other hand, Department of Trade Sec. Gregory Domingo and Muñoz signed the Letter of Intent signifying the Philippines and Chile’s intent to commence discussions on developing a framework for negotiating a mutually beneficial trade agreement that is “flexible and pragmatic” as to its depth and scope.
Bachelet, already a two-term president of Chile, described her expanded bilateral meeting with Pres. Aquino as “very interesting and productive.” The Chilean President has recognized the Philippines’ extensive experience in geothermal energy “which is very interesting for the clean and renewable energy policies promoted by our country.”
“There is also space for a wide range of bilateral cooperation activities in areas such as public policies, mining, agriculture, crops and natural disasters,” Bachelet said.
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