Aquino aims to raise awareness of New Zealand on Philippines-A A +A
Monday, October 22, 2012
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III is aiming to increase awareness of the business community in New Zealand about the Philippines during his three-day visit in the South Pacific nation, a Palace official said Monday.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Secretary Ricky Carandang, who joins the President in his New Zealand trip, said the President is hoping to invite more businessmen to invest in the country by raising awareness about the two countries' economic links.
"We have a very thriving economic relationship with New Zealand but the problem is people here are not very aware of these economic links," Carandang said.
"In the Philippines, we are not also aware about how wide our economic links with New Zealand. On dairy products, agricultural products, our trade with New Zealand is strong," he added.
"One thing we want to happen is we are able to hook-up our businessmen with their businessmen to widen our trade with them. Because we sell maybe about one third of what they sell to us. This is a healthy trade relationship, if we can sell them more products, we would be very happy to sell them that," he added.
He noted that they expect the business delegation who accompanied the President to meet with their counterparts and would able to encourage them to invest in the country.
Carandang said agriculture, geothermal power, tourism, and business process outsourcing are some of the areas they are expecting to be discussed in the meetings of Aquino with various business companies in New Zealand.
Another way of raising awareness between the two countries is the people-to-people exchanges, which will be signed during the bilateral meeting between Aquino and Prime Minister John Phillip Key.
"In broad strokes we will provide opportunities for Filipinos to come here, get to know the country, New Zealanders to go to the Philippines and also to get to know the country," Carandang said.
He said this program aims to improve tourism in both countries.
He noted that the 36,000 Filipinos living in New Zealand could also help in raising awareness of the New Zealanders on the Philippines.
President Aquino met with the Filipino community at the Sky City Hotel during his first day in the country.
In his speech, the President cited the improvements in the Philippines during his two year administration particularly in education, economy, infrastructure, and agriculture.
President Aquino and his delegation arrived at Auckland, New Zealand at 11:40 a.m. (New Zealand time).
He was welcomed by New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Reuben Levermore and Customs Commissioner Maurice Williamson.
He was interviewed by Simon Mercep of Radio New Zealand and met with the Filipino community.
On Tuesday, Aquino is scheduled to fly to the New Zealand's capital, Wellington, where he is set to hold a meeting with Prime Minister Key and Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae.
President Aquino and his delegation arrived Monday morning (Manila time) at Auckland, New Zealand for a state visit.
The President will be in New Zealand from October 22 to 24. He will proceed to Australia after his state visit in New Zealand.
Meantime, Carandang assured that the P44 million, which Aquino and his delegation would be spending for his state visits in the two countries, would be worth it.
"I don't think we should be counting the pesos of the cost. Every peso we spent on this trip is worth the cost," he said.
"If we're able to do more commercial deals in New Zealand and we're able to strengthen our political defense and economic ties with Australia, I think you'll see that everything we will spend is worth it," he added. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)