2023 April 17
ARRIVAL HONORS. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. leads the arrival honors for Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and his delegation at the Malacañang Palace grounds on Monday (April 17, 2023). Marcos said the two countries have agreed to strengthen defense and economic ties. (Courtesy of Office of the President)
MANILA – As the Philippines and Czechia Republic celebrate the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations this year, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Monday the two countries will further strengthen defense and economic ties.
President Marcos and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala reaffirmed their commitment to boost cooperation, particularly on defense, trade and investment, university-to-university linkages, as well as judicial and labor cooperation during their bilateral meeting in Malacañang, according to a press statement issued by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).
“I express our commitment to strengthening the bilateral relationship between our two countries. We recognize the importance of building on the existing areas of cooperation and exploring new opportunities for collaboration,” Marcos said.
Marcos highlighted the strategic location of the Philippines for good investment as it is a potential gateway to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
“We shared positive developments in the Philippine economy, including our high GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate and strong economic outlook, in context of a difficult and volatile world economic situation,” Marcos said.
The PCO said the two leaders exchanged views on regional and international issues, particularly the West Philippine Sea, although no specific information was mentioned.
Marcos and Fiala also committed to uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Bringing a delegation of Czech businessmen, Fiala expressed hope that his visit would be the start of a successful cooperation between Czech and Filipino companies.
“I believe our meeting and visit will be a new impulse for stronger collaboration and we will be very happy to cooperate (with the) Philippine government and companies much more,” Fiala said.
Fiala noted that there are talks about collaboration on transport aircraft and other projects in the aviation sector.
The Czech prime minister is also looking at possibilities to expand migration for work, highlighting the Philippine worker recruitment system for overseas deployment.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. witnesses Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s signing of the guest book at Malacañang Palace, Manila on Monday (April 17, 2023). (Courtesy of Office of the President)
In terms of defense and security cooperation, Fiala said Czech company Česká zbrojovka offers extensive modernization to the Armed Forces of the Philippine that could also include technology transfer.
He likewise expressed gladness that the two countries are cooperating in the area of agriculture
“Czech companies provide technological assistance and expertise to the Philippine National Dairy Authority. Czech companies can also offer technologies for storing raw milk and its processing,” Fiala said.
Fiala arrived in Manila Sunday night.
An official dinner, hosted by the President in honor of the visiting Czech leader, capped Monday’s activities at the Palace.
Fiala is scheduled to lay a wreath at Rizal Park as part of his official itinerary.
Filane Mikee Cervantes