The Philippines and Russia agreed to strengthen bilateral trade and economic ties, starting with the importation by Russia of agricultural crops.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said both countries agreed to set up a joint commission to work on details of cooperation and follow through negotiation during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Peru.
“The President [Rodrigo Duterte] has a good first meeting with President [Vladimir] Putin. They offer discussing trade and investments in the field of energy, machine engineering, hardware, energy equipment, modernizing retro fit machines, long range railway building, port infrastructure and monorails,” he said.
Lopez said at the onset, Russia was willing to import about $2.5 billion worth of agricultural products from the Philippines.
The huge import commitment will be one of the major discussion points by the Philippine and Russian agriculture ministers in the next meeting.
“They are coming from a low base of imports from the Philippines. But we can supply their agricultural requirement,” said Lopez.
Both countries also agreed to cooperate on law enforcement training and trade of supply for the military to be used for counter-terrorism, war on drugs and for national emergency.
Other areas of cooperation include finance, education and market access.
“There is a huge room for cooperation for both the Philippines and Russia,” Lopez said.