The trade departments of the Philippines and Papua New Guinea will establish a Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETC) following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said his office inked the MOU with Papua New Guinea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday to set up the JETC that will enhance the economic relations of the two countries.
Lopez said the agreement targets to explore and identify sectors where both parties can intensify cooperation, the Philippine News Agency reported.
“[We will] identify possible cooperative projects and draft proposals for implementation,” he added.
During the meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade last May, Lopez said expanding the country’s trade relations with Papua New Guinea will be one of the country’s top agenda in the forum’s summit this year.
He cited that the two governments can jointly venture in activities in agriculture as well as oil and gas exploration, while increasing Philippine exports of processed good, electronics, machineries and equipment, packaging materials, and appliances to Papua New Guinea.
DTI and Papua New Guinea National Trade Office also agreed to exchange information on trade, investment, economic issues and concerns, relevant laws, regulations and policies to study how the two governments can improve ties in the economic front.
“[We will] recommend to respective governments measures aimed at the expansion and diversification of trade, investments, and other related matters,” the trade chief said.
Trade officials from the Philippines and Papua New Guinea vowed to organize consultations and official visits to deal with specific economic and trade issues between the two countries.
“[We will] ensure proper coordination and expeditious implementation of arrangements concluded under this MOU,” Lopez said.
Meanwhile, the APEC Summit 2018 concluded Sunday in Port Moresby as Papua New Guinea hosted this year’s summit. (PNA)