MANILA. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
MANILA. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.Photo from Bongbong Marcos Facebook page

Marcos to enhance bilateral ties with Germany, Czech Republic in upcoming visit

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will visit Germany and Czech Republic next week, as the country seeks to strengthen bilateral relations and foster increased cooperation with the two countries.

In a press conference on Friday, March 8, 2024, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Maria Elena Algabre of the Office of European Affairs said Marcos is expected to sign agreements on maritime sector cooperation and technical and vocational education and training during her visit in Prague, Germany from March 11 to 13.

“In Germany, in terms of government-to-government agreements, there will be a joint declaration of intent on strengthening cooperation in the maritime sector, which will be signed by both countries’ transportation agencies,” Algabre said.

“These JDIs seek to facilitate maritime trade and mobility of Philippine and German-owned commercial vessels,” she added.

Algabre said the Philippines, through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), will sign a cooperation program with the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), for their continuous partnership on technical and vocational education and training.

Marcos will also meet German business leaders during a forum, which is expected to open more opportunities for the Philippines especially in terms of investors with high consideration of the “impressive economic performance and conducive investment environment in the country.”

The bilateral relations between Germany and the Philippines started on October 8, 1954.

From Germany, together with First Lady Liza, Marcos will be in Czech Republic on March 14 and 15 on the invite of Czech President Petr Pavel.

Marcos’ visit is expected to foster increased bilateral cooperation with the said country ahead of its 50th bilateral relations anniversary with the Philippines in October.

The chief executive will witness the signing of a joint communique on the establishment of labor consultations mechanisms, aiming to enhance cooperation between the Philippines and the Czech Republic for the safe and orderly migration of Filipino workers, as well as for the provision of higher protection of their rights and welfare.

“In the Czech Republic, we will sign a joint communiqué on the establishment of a labor consultation mechanism that aims to enhance cooperation between the Philippines and the Czech Republic for the safe and orderly migration of Filipino workers, as well as for the provision of higher protection of their rights and welfare,” Algabre said.

“The Czech Republic has expressed its interest [in encouraging] more Filipinos to participate in the labor market. In fact, they have announced a yearly quota for Filipinos starting this May of 10,000 Filipinos who may enter the Czech Republic for work,” she added.

There are approximately 7,000 Filipinos in the Czech Republic, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Meanwhile, amid criticisms of his frequent travel abroad, Algabre maintained that Marcos’ international trips is for the country’s well-being and progress, in line with the administration’s development agenda on economy and security.

She maintained that no money goes to waste whenever Marcos goes out of the country.

Last week, Marcos went to Australia twice, in Canberra, where he addressed the parliament and in Melbourne for his attendance at the Association of Southeast Asian Nation-Australia Summit.

From June 30, 2022 to December 2023, Marcos travelled abroad 19 times.

The DTI said that as of December 2023, a total of $14.2 billion worth of investments, from the foreign trips of the President, comprising 46 projects, are already at different stages.

Since January, among the countries he visited were Japan, Vietnam and Brunei where he attended the wedding of Prince Abdul Mateen.

The Philippines also secured $1.53 billion or P86 billion worth of investment from 12 business deals signed during Marcos’ visit in Melbourne recently. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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