PGMA state visit to Brazil yields wider RP-Brazil cooperation with 5 bilateral agreements sealed

June 25, 2009 8:45 am 

BRASILIA, Brazil, June 25 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva witnessed on Wednesday (June 24) the signing of five bilateral agreements between the Philippines and Brazil aimed at expanding the two countries’ cooperation in several fields, including energy and agricultural development.

One of the agreements was on Bioenergy Cooperation between the Department of Energy and the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Brazil. It aims to facilitate technical cooperation between the Philippines and Brazil in bioenergy, including the production and use of biofuels, particularly ethanol, and promote the expansion of bilateral trade and investment in biofuel production.

The areas of cooperation include projects and activities of mutual interest such as information exchange on the sustainable production and use of biofuels, including large-scale production technology, best practices in policy and regulatory infrastructure, joint undertakings, including research and development exchange of experts, training seminars, conferences and other cooperative activities promoting the efficient production and use of biofuels, and other areas in the bioenergy sector.

Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes and Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap signed the accord in behalf of the Philippine government.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and his Brazilian counterpart signed, in behalf of their respective countries, an Agreement on Remunerated Employment of Dependents of Diplomats, Consular, Administrative and Technical Personnel.

The agreement allows dependents of Filipino and Brazilian personnel in the two countries’ diplomatic and consular missions to engage in gainful employment in the host countries.

The Philippines has similar agreements with the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, Spain and the Netherlands.

Also signed was the agreement between the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Brazil’s National Confederation of Industry that seeks to expand business linkages and promote cooperative activities between their members.

The two MOUs on agricultural cooperation between Brazil and the Philippines were the Cooperation on Agriculture between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply; and between the Philippine Agricultural Development and Commercial Corporation (PADCC) and the Empresa Brasiliera de Pesquisa Agropecuaria or the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA).

The MOU on Cooperation on Agriculture involves collaboration in livestock and animal health, biofuel feedstock and development, dairy, horticulture, food safety, agribusiness management, sustainable land management, genetics and biotechnology, processing and post-harvest technologies and agricultural machineries, and plant and animal science.

Under the plant and animal science, the Philippines and Brazil will look into the areas of disease control, quarantine, pest surveillance, pest risk analysis, and cooperation in inspection procedures for international transit of animals, plants and agricultural inputs.

With the MOU, the Philippines and Brazil will be able to share experiences and best practices in enhancing agricultural productivity and promote trade and investment in agriculture.

The MOU between PADCC and EMBRAPA will allow the Philippines and Brazil to cooperate in science and technology through joint projects in agriculture and natural resources and thus broaden the existing knowledge base on agricultural development and institutional strengthening.

The PADCC and EMBRAPA will also closely cooperate in joint research, information exchange and technology transfer in high value crops, fisheries, livestock, biofuels, and other agricultural crops.

The Philippines and Brazil will also commit to an exchange of scientists, experts and trainees, the organization of symposia and conferences, the joint publication of studies and papers, conduct of agricultural trade fairs and exhibitions, joint ventures and other means as may be mutually agreed upon.

The MOU also includes training, technical assistance, germplasm exchange, provision of equipment, bibliography and technology commercialization. (PNA)

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