German foreign minister to make historic visit to Manila-A A +A
Monday, February 4, 2013
MANILA -- Foreign minister of Germany will embark on a historic official visit to the Philippines this week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.
Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westerwelle of Germany who will be in Manila on February 7 to 8 at the invitation of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, will be the first by a German Federal Foreign Minister in more than 12 years.
The last visit of a German Federal Foreign Minister to the Philippines was the one made by Hans-Dietrich Genscher who came to the country in July 2000, the DFA said.
Westerwelle's visit reciprocates an official trip to Germany by Del Rosario on December 7 to 9, 2011.
The DFA said that Westerwelle will be accompanied by officials of the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO), a 12-man business delegation and 10 journalists from Germany.
Westerwelle will hold a bilateral meeting with Del Rosario. He will also pay a courtesy call on President Benigno Aquino III before he speaks in a discussion on the Mindanao peace process with representatives of the civil society.
The German official will also attend a business roundtable organized by the German Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI). He will visit a German ship management company before flying out of Manila on his way to Singapore.
"Dr. Westerwelle’s visit is a very strong signal of the interest of both the Philippines and Germany to further enhance bilateral relations," the DFA said.
Germany is the Philippines’ second largest export market in the European Union (EU) and the second biggest source of tourists for the Philippines in Europe. Germany is also a leading source of official development assistance (ODA).
Statistics from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shows that trade between the two countries from January to September 2012 amounted to around US$2.6 billion. (SDR/Sunnex)