The Philippines and Germany agreed to strengthen existing ties and pursue further avenues for cooperation in trade, development cooperation, climate change, and renewable energy on Tuesday, 16 June in Berlin, Germany in their second bilateral political consultations.
Undersecretary for Policy at the Department of Foreign Affairs Evan P. Garcia led the Philippine delegation, which consisted of representatives from coordinate Philippine agencies, while Ambassador Clemens von Goetze, Director General for Africa, Asia, Latin America, Near and Middle East Office of the German Foreign Ministry led the German side.
There was a substantive exchange of views on bilateral, regional and global concerns. The discussion also focused on how to further strengthen ties in trade and investments, directions to improve labor cooperation by streamlining the implementation of the Triple Win Project ( Filipino nurses for German hospitals) , furthering development cooperation through the promotion of dual technical-vocational education and training (TVET) in the Philippines, and pursuit of programs to respond to climate change/ environment issues.
Prospects for cooperation in the areas of energy, fisheries and agriculture to help poverty reduction were also discussed. Elevating bilateral trade from its current modest level of USD 5.3 billion was given special emphasis by the two sides. The consultations also formally announced the forthcoming German Asia-Pacific Business Association business mission to the Philippines in October to be led by Parliamentary State Secretary Brigitte Zypries of the Ministry of Economics and Energy. Focus of the mission will be the energy sector.
The meeting also touched on the Philippines’ priorities for the ASEAN Integration and the progress of select political and economic developments, such as the Bangsamoro and the 2016 elections.
The inaugural Philippines-Germany political consultations took place on 17 October 2013 in Manila which led to the successful celebration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of PH-Germany bilateral diplomatic relations in October 2014. The second meeting this 16th of June followed a series of high-level exchanges between officials of both countries, most prominent of which was the President’s visit to Berlin in September 2014.
Germany is the Philippines’ biggest European trade partner and among the country’s biggest ODA partners. The meeting this year coincided with Germany’s presidency of the G7, which climaxed in the recent Leaders’ Summit from 7 to 8 June 2015.