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PH, Czech Republic strengthen ties with defense, agri cooperation


MANILA, April 19 ----- The Philippines and the Czech Republic on Monday worked to strengthen bilateral relations, with the leaders of the two countries discussing cooperation agreements in the fields of defense, trade and agriculture.


Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala “had a very interesting exchange of views regarding regional and international issues, including the West Philippine Sea and cross-strait relations, and the war in Ukraine, amongst others. “We recognize the importance of building on the consisting areas of cooperation and exploring new opportunities for collaboration.” Marcos Jr. said during his joint press statement with the European leader.


Fiala said he “fully support the talks about delivering transport aircrafts” from the Philippines as well as other projects in the aviation sector. “Defense and security cooperation is very important in our relations,” Fiala said. “Our company Česká Zbrojovka offers extensive modernization to the Philippine Armed Forces. This project also includes transfer of technology,” he said.


Czech companies are also offering solutions in several industries such as agriculture, aviation, transportation, or space technologies, he said. “I am glad that we are cooperating into area of agriculture. Czech companies provide technological assistance and expertise to the Philippine National Dairy Authority,” Fiala said.


Other topics tackled in the bilateral meeting Include university-to-university linkages and labor cooperation, Marcos Jr. said.


“We shared positive developments in the Philippine economy, including our high GDP growth rate and strong economic outlook in the context of a difficult and volatile world economic situation,” he said.


The Czech Republic is the Philippines’ 8th largest trading partner among European Union member countries, with bilateral trade amounting to $450 million in 2019, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Philippine imports to the Czech Republic is pegged at $340.44 million, while imports from the European nation is at $114.31 million, data showed.


Fiala is in Manila for a 3-day official visit, and will also travel to 5 other countries in Asia as Czechia pushes to improve its ties in the region.


Source: news.abs-cbn.com


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