Philippines, Myanmar to expand bilateral cooperation

Posted on June 16, 2012

THE PHILIPPINES and Myanmar have agreed to expand their bilateral relations in terms of political and cultural cooperation, and trade and investment, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

Concluding the 2nd Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) between the two countries, Foreign Affairs Secretary and Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin signed the minutes of their meeting held Friday morning at the DFA office in Pasay City.

During the meeting, the officials “agreed to collaborate in various fields of cooperation, namely: political cooperation; trade and investments; education; human rights; agriculture and forestry; tourism; culture and information; and law enforcement, among others,� the DFA announced in a statement.

“I trust that after this meeting, follow-throughs will be made so that by the next JCBC in 2014, a more robust bilateral relationship will exist between our two countries and people who will benefit from this cooperative bilateral partnership,� Secretary Albert F. del Rosario was quoted as saying in the statement.

The DFA said the two governments agreed to increase trade between them through the exchange of information on economic and investment laws, the organization and mutual participation in both countries’ trade fairs, creating a joint trade commission, and establishing official contacts between Philippine and Burmese chambers of commerce.

The two countries also agreed to establish a Philippines-Myanmar Parliamentary Friendship Association to encourage the exchange of visits and information between their officials, the statement said.

It added that in terms of cultural cooperation, the two governments reaffirmed their commitment to conclude the Executive Program on Cultural Exchanges and pursue the implementation of the 1998 Cultural Cooperation Agreement.

The two countries, whose diplomatic relations started in September 1956, held their first JCBC in April 2004 in Yangon, agreeing to expand cooperation in terms of trade, investment, tourism, education, health and air services. -- Aubrey Barrameda