Australian Foreign and Trade and Investment Ministers to visit Philippines
Australia’s Foreign Affairs and Trade and Investment Ministers, together with the New South Wales Premier, are visiting the Philippines this week for high level meetings with the Philippines Government and business community.
The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, and The Hon Barry O’Farrell MP, the Premier of the state of New South Wales (NSW), will visit Manila between 19 and 21 February 2014.
Ms Bishop and Mr Robb will meet with the Secretaries for Foreign Affairs and for Trade and Industry, Albert del Rosario and Gregory Domingo, for the Philippines-Australia Ministerial Meeting (PAMM).
“The PAMM is the pre-eminent meeting between Australian and Philippine Ministers. It provides an excellent opportunity to deepen the bilateral relationship, strengthen our cooperation on regional issues and shape the agenda for the next few years” said Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell.
Ministers will also meet other Cabinet Secretaries and Ms Bishop and Mr del Rosario will join the ASEAN Secretary-General, His Excellency Le Luong Minh, for the official launch of the ASEAN-Australia 40th Anniversary Commemoration.
This is Ms Bishop’s second visit to the Philippines in three months. The Foreign Minister visited Manila, Tacloban and Ormoc in December to see first-hand the relief efforts undertaken by the Australian Government, in partnership with the Philippines, in responding to Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
It will be Mr Robb’s first visit to the Philippines as Trade and Investment Minister and he will be accompanied by a senior business delegation to advance bilateral commercial interests and the Australian Government’s economic diplomacy agenda.
This will also be Mr O’Farrell’s first official visit to Manila. The Premier will be looking to strengthen NSW’s relationship with the Philippines and promote trade and investment opportunities.
“Australia and the Philippines have a longstanding and warm friendship. Not only do we have shared interests in regional prosperity, but we have a warm and broad-ranging bilateral partnership based on respect, strong people-to-people links and cooperation in many areas including development assistance, trade, investment, defence and security” Ambassador Tweddell said.
Australia remains one of the Philippines’ largest bilateral grant aid partners, with A$170.1 million or approximately PH 6.8 billion in official development assistance (ODA) expected for the 2013-14 financial year. Australian ODA in the Philippines focuses on:
- Partnering on education reforms – to improve access to and quality of education
- Enhancing the foundations for sustained economic growth – to connect people to markets through roads and essential infrastructure in partnership with the private sector
- Better disaster preparedness and humanitarian response – to mitigate the economic and social costs of future disasters
- Improved conditions for peace and security – to support a lasting settlement of conflict in Mindanao
- Building stronger institutions for accountable and inclusive governance – to support more effective and transparent systems of government
In the last three years alone, Australia invested A$387.4 million or approximately PH 15.6 billion in the Philippines that has contributed to important development results, including:
- more than two million children in disadvantaged areas benefitting from better quality education
- road rehabilitation projects benefitting at least 51,000 people and lowering transportation costs on select routes by at least 30 per cent
- production of hazard maps and disaster risk information, assisting authorities in 27 provinces to reduce the impact of natural disasters.
For more information on Australia-Philippines relations: