Martonyi in historic official visit to Philippines
The arrival of Foreign Affairs Minister János Martonyi in the Philippines today signifies more than just another official tour or even another milestone for the ministry’s much touted Eastward-facing export strategy; in fact, Martonyi achieved a historic first in become the first-ever of his position to visit the Asian nation.
The invitation for talks was put forth by the country’s Foreign Affairs Secretary, Albert del Rosario. Martonyi and del Rosario will discuss general bilateral issues and cooperation opportunities in following up on their discussions at the Asia-Europe Meeting (AsEM) in November.
Tomorrow, Martonyi will be meeting with Vice President Jejomar Binay and the country’s Commission on Higher Education director Patricia Licuanan. Issues on the agenda for that meet include higher education partnerships and establishment of a Hungarian mission in the country. Later, the minister will attend a lunch hosted by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Evan Garcia; on the table here will be issues regarding the opening of the Hungarian embassy in Manila.
Both parties appear quite interested in expanding bilateral relations and trade, and the Philippines government has commended Hungary for its status among the very first of nations offering humanitarian aid to the country in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda.
Official statistics from the Philippines calculate total trade between the two nations to have been $156.5 million in 2012. Goods traded include food and beverage items, electronic components, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, automotive parts, petrochemicals and fabricated products.
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