BEIJING, China, Nov. 10 — The Philippines and Papua New Guinea (PNG) are moving for the enhancement of their trade and investment cooperation, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario has said.
"The Philippines has committed to send a scoping mission to Papua New Guinea for trade and investment cooperation," del Rosario said following a bilateral meeting held Monday morning between President Benigno S. Aquino III and Prime Minister Peter O'Neill on the sidelines of the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Chief Executive Officers' Summit here.
He also said the Philippines wants to advance its cooperation in health services because it appears that the country is emerging as a favored destination for "medical tourism."
"We are being asked to advance our cooperation in education, specifically technical and vocational programs. It seems that many PNG nationals are now studying in the Philippines," the Foreign Affairs chief told reporters during a media briefing held at the Philippine Embassy in Beijing.
Del Rosario also mentioned a discussion on the deepening of a cooperation in agriculture between Manila and Port Moresby. He said the Laguna-based International Rice Research Institute is currently exploring suitable rice species for Papua New Guinea.
Both countries also agreed to cooperate with each other during their respective hosting of the APEC Summits in the near future.
"As you probably know, PNG will chair in 2018. And so, we are being asked to cooperate with PNG as we seek their cooperation for our chairmanship in 2015," del Rosario said. (PNA)