MCCI to join Russia trip

Business.
Business.(Business File photo)

SIX members of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) are set to join Cebu Province’s trade mission to Russia from May 31 to June 9, 2024.

“MCCI will join the delegation… We are working double time with Russian Consul Armi Lopez-Garcia to work on areas of cooperation with St. Petersburg,” said MCCI president Mark Anthony Ynoc.

Ynoc said they will be attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, an annual Russian business event in the economic sector, which has been held in St. Petersburg since 1997.

“We hope to benchmark and learn best practices, technologies and policies that can enhance trade and investments. Hopefully, with the help of the Honorary Consul to Russia, Armi Garcia, we definitely want to lobby for a direct flight from Russia to the Philippines to contribute to the improvement of Tourism in Cebu and in the country,” said Ynoc.

Since this mission is organized by the Cebu Province, led by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Ynoc said they also looked forward to the renewal of the sisterhood agreement between St. Petersburg and the Province of Cebu and possibly a sisterhood agreement with St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Capitol’s news portal, Garcia is set to sign Cebu’s renewal of sisterhood pact with St. Petersburg, one of Russia’s major cities renowned for its cultural and historical landmarks; as well as trading and commercial significance.

Sisterhood agreement

Cebu and St. Petersburg first signed their sisterhood agreement in 2009 during Garcia’s term, to expand their cooperation in the fields of tourism, socio-cultural and economic development. When the governor exited in 2013, the deal was no longer renewed.

Garcia is also scheduled to meet with Russian airport authorities to discuss the creation of direct flights from Cebu to St. Petersburg and vice versa.

One of the areas which has the potential to grow is tourism. Cebu, in particular, is eyeing the Russian market, which is known for long-staying and high-spending tourists.

Besides MCCI, some members of the Cebu Provincial Board are also expected to join Garcia’s working visit. The Cebu delegation is also scheduled to visit the Russian capital city of Moscow.

The Philippines and Russia have since been eyeing stronger economic partnership.

In October 2023, the Board of Investments (BOI) brought together representatives from the Russian and Philippine private sector to discuss the growing trade relations and foster mutually beneficial partnerships at the Philippine-Russia Business Forum, an event attended by 160 members and officials of the Russian and Philippine business delegations.

“The Philippines is positioned as the regional hub in Southeast Asia for smart and sustainable manufacturing and services, using market-based tools that empower the private sectors. That goal is attainable through our country’s foremost and strongest advantage, which is the Filipino workforce. Russian investors stand to gain in investing in the Philippines with Filipinos as the backbone of its operations,” said Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments managing head Ceferino Rodolfo.

In 2022, Russia exported US$576 million to the Philippines. The main products that Russia exported to the Philippines were semi-finished iron, refined petroleum and coal briquettes. The Philippines, on the other hand, exported $53.9 million to Russia. It exported coconuts, Brazil nuts and cashews, vegetable saps and office machine parts. / KOC

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