THE PHILIPPINES and Indonesia will discuss cooperation between their copper and textile industries, sharing best practices to better attract manufacturing investment and technology transfer.

The two sides met on Aug. 11, the Philippines’ first since the start of the lockdown, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said in a statement Monday.

The DTI said that the two countries will work on complementing each others’ strengths and resource endowments in copper and textiles.

Expected to be held within the year, the industry dialogues will cover best practices, regulation, and collaboration between the government and private sector.

“In the long term, these dialogues are seen as avenues to boost the manufacturing capabilities of our industrial sectors through the infusion of investment and technology,” DTI said.

Representatives from the two countries also spoke about possible partnerships in investment promotion, quality assurance for halal products, and the creative economy this year.

The two sides also discussed fisheries and border trade.

“The Philippines is committed to consider the proposals given its relevance to both the Philippines and Indonesia as archipelagic states with common borders and taking into account the developments in sub-regional integration,” DTI Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo said.

The joint working group on trade, investments, handicrafts, and shipping also discussed improving the countries’ business environments.

“Convening the (Joint Working Group) with Indonesia is of strategic importance to the Philippines given the many commonalities we share. With the challenging times ahead, working together as two of the biggest economies in ASEAN to address the unprecedented crisis is the best recourse,” Mr. Rodolfo said.

Indonesia was the Philippines’ eight-largest trading partner in 2019 and the 13th largest export market.

Indonesia was the Philippines’ sixth-largest source of imports last year, valued at $6.6 billion or 6.1% of the total. — Jenina P. Ibañez