THE Philippines and Russia have discussed possible Russian investment in Mindanao and market access for Philippine produce, the Philippine Embassy in Moscow said in a statement Wednesday.
The Embassy said Ambassador to Russia Carlos D. Sorreta met with Director Maxim Markovich of Russian Agriculture Ministry’s Department of International Cooperation on March 4 in Moscow.
Mr. Sorreta was quoted as saying that the two countries are “keen on intensifying agricultural cooperation in the particular context of the agreement that was signed during the visit of President Rodrigo R. Duterte in 2017.”
“We also discussed possible Russian investment in agriculture in Mindanao and market access for Philippine agricultural products and fisheries products from Mindanao and other parts of the Philippines,” he added.
The Ambassador also noted that the meeting with the Russian Ministry of Agriculture officials was in preparation for the working visit of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol to Moscow.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and its counterpart Russian ministry signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2017 after Mr. Duterte’s visit. The MoU provides the framework for agriculture cooperation between the Philippines and Russia.
Mr. Sorreta also briefed Russia on the government’s efforts to improve law and order in Mindanao.
Mr. Piñol has said that the DA is looking into the possibility of exporting coconut, banana, and shrimp to Russia. He added that the DA is organizing a trade mission to explore business opportunities in the “unexplored market of Russia and other member countries of the Russian Federation.”
According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Russia in 2017 was the Philippines’ 29th-largest trading partner, 37th-largest export market, and 24th-largest source of imports. — Camille A. Aguinaldo