PH, Bahrain ink agreements to boost trade, investments
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Bahrain signed 4 agreements on the occasion of President Rodrigo Duterte's state visit to Bahrain on Thursday, April 13 (early Friday, April 14, Philippine time).
Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Duterte witnessed the signing ceremony after their bilateral meeting at Sakhir Palace where they discussed regional and international developments, and matters of mutual interest, according to the state-run Bahraini News Agency (BNA).
Philippine and Bahraini officials signed the following agreements:
- A Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a Joint High Commission on Bilateral Cooperation between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of the Philippines
- A Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Foreign Service Institute of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs
- A protocol on amending articles of the agreement between Bahrain and the Philippines on the Avoidance of Double Taxation
- A draft protocol on the agreement on regulating air transport services between Bahrain and the Philippines
King Hamad "stressed the Philippine President's visit represents a significant step towards strengthening bilateral relations and broadening cooperation in various areas, mainly trade, economic and investment," BNA reported.
Citing the newly-established Joint High Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, King Hamad "highlighted Bahrain's suitable investment environment and flexible laws that have attracted leading world banks and companies to establish their headquarters in Bahrain," it added.
"HM the King expressed appreciation of the contributions of the Philippine community to development in Bahrain and commended the Philippines achievement in economic and development fields at the Asian level," BNA said in its report.
Bahrain is home to at least 60,000 Filipinos.
In response, Duterte lauded King Hamad's support for further boosting Philippine-Bahraini relations.
A business agreement was also signed in the presence of the two leaders – the expansion of agricultural operations between AMA Group Holdings Corporation and Nader & Ebrahim Sons of Hassan Company WLL (NEH).
The parties agreed to expand their operation in Mindanao, particularly in Davao, targeting an additional 10,000 hectares of farmland for agricultural production, Malacañang said in a statement.
This project, according to Malacañang, is in line with the President’s “thrust to economically develop Mindanao.” It is expected to generate jobs for people in Davao.
The Philippine Chief Executive flew to Bahrain from Saudi Arabia for his two-day state visit late Wednesday. He was welcomed by Bahrain Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa and Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain Alfonso Ver upon his arrival in Bahrain.
Duterte is expected to meet with Bahrain businessmen and at least 4,000 members of the Filipino community on Friday, April 14, before flying to the final leg of his Middle East trip in Doha, Qatar. – Rappler.com