Minister laments Nigeria/Philippines trade relations


Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri has decried the low economic and trade relations existing between Nigeria and the Philippines in spite of the long standing relations between both countries.
Onwuliri who expressed this worry yesterday in Abuja at the second Nigeria-Philippines Joint Commission however noted that both countries can boast of some desirable achievements among her citizens at the bilateral level.
“Whilst it is heartening to note that there have been an increasing number of Filipino companies conducting business in Nigeria which signifies a push in this direction, there is yet much to be done to improve our economic and trade relations” she stressed.
She recalled the enviable long standing cordial relations both countries have maintained which has been reinforced by the shared vision of the leadership of the two nations on major global issues as well as their continued cooperation on bilateral and multilateral spheres.
The minister further maintained that both countries have several areas for mutually beneficial cooperation that will enhance their growth and development such as education, health, agriculture, water resources, immigration, culture and tourism, trade and commerce and justice.
According to her, for a meaningful and fruitful deliberation to be achieved, the collective will, desire and focus of both nations should be the institution of a solid base for agreement in the identified sectors for collaboration.
Underscoring the high level of diligence and commitment exhibited by the two countries towards the preparation of the event, Onwuliri expressed confidence that the outcome of the meeting would put both countries on a higher pedestal of mutually beneficial cooperation.
In her response, the Deputy Foreign Minister and Head of Philippine Delegation, Erlinda Basilio said the meeting would offer her delegation opportunity to discuss all aspect of bilateral relations with Nigeria, regional and international issues of mutual interests, exchange views on developments within both countries and jointly work with Nigeria towards closer cooperation in the political, economic, cultural, consular and labor related fields.
“Throughout our long engagement, the Philippines and Nigeria have not simply been content with maintaining the level of friendly relations that exist between our two countries, we have instead found ways to further strengthen these relations and move towards a deeper partnership” she noted.
She further pledged her country’s readiness to seek opportunities to open up markets as well as heighten people-to-people and cultural exchanges between both countries.


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