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Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo and Ministry of Economic Development Deputy Minister Alexey Gruzdev.

Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo and Ministry of Economic Development Deputy Minister Alexey Gruzdev met in Manila on April 19, 2018 for the co-Chairs meeting of the Philippines-Russia Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation (JCTEC). The JCTEC is a mechanism to improve bilateral economic relations between the Philippines and Russia. During the meeting, the following areas for collaboration were discussed: trade and investment promotion, industry development, labor, higher education, agriculture, energy, transport and atomic sphere and space exploration. 

The co-chairs expressed that with the highest level of support from President Rodrigo Duterte and President Vladimir Putin, both sides are geared towards enhancing trade and investment relations. This is achieved through the following initiatives: trade promotion, accreditation of products for export, utilization on the the Eurasian Economic Union Generalized System of Preferences (EAEU GSP), proposal for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and updating of the 1992 Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. 

On trade promotion, the Philippines solicited the support of Russia for increased participation in their trade fairs and promotional activities. In this regard, the Philippines expressed its interest to participate in World Food Moscow on September and MEBEL Furniture Fair on November to showcase its food and furniture products to Russia.

To enhance trade, both sides agreed to exchange the final results of the mutual veterinary missions for the audit of Philippine seafood and seafood products and Russian meat products, once finalized. The audit was undertaken to ensure the safety of consumers against diseases and contamination from these export products. Updates on established business arrangements related to import and export of products, supply of engineering and design for steel structure, supply of automobile and trucks, and pipeline transport and construction that were initiated during the official visit to Russia of President Duterte last year were reported during the meeting. 

The Philippines sought the assistance of Russia on fully utilizing the EAEU GSP.The EAEU GSP is a unified system of tariff preferences granted by the Customs Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. Selectedproducts covered by this scheme that are imported from developing country beneficiaries, such as the Philippines, are eligible for a 25% discount on customs duties. 

To enhance market access, the Philippines proposed to engage in dialogue the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), which is the regulating body responsible for the integration of the EAEU, through a proposed Memorandum on Understanding to understand the market, operations, and regulation of the EAEU. 

Both sides also agreed to commence discussions to update the 1992 Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) as a means to attract and enhance investment relations. 

The co-chairs meeting was preceded by a business round table attended by fifty-three local and Russian representatives from the following sectors: aerospace, automotive, chemicals, construction, infrastructure, food, mining, energy, oil and gas and consultancy. 

Following the co-chairs meeting, the Russian delegation made a courtesy call to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez. Deputy Minister Gruzdev shared the interest of the Russian side to further enhance trade and investment relations through the JCTEC. Secretary Lopez positively remarked that “coupled with the highest level of support from President Rodrigo Duterte and the thrust of the administration towards re-balancing our economic relations by pursuing non-traditional markets in the Asia Pacific region, the engagement of the Philippines with Russia will steadily increase.” 

Undersecretary Rodolfo expressed his satisfaction on the outcomes of the meeting. He stated, “We hope to explore further the cooperation in other areas and take advantage of the complementarities between our economies in time for the 2ndJCTEC in Moscow in the second half of 2018.” 

Russia is the Philippines’ 29th trading partner, 37th export market, and 24th import supplier in 2017.♦

Date of release: 02 May 2018

Russian companies have expressed interest in participating in the local business sector through investments or participation in JV projects particularly in the areas of transport infrastructure/construction, aerospace, iron & steel, automotive, power generation equipment, minerals processing, and agriculture as a delegation from the world’s largest nation composed of government and private officials recently visited the country for a roundtable discussion with their Philippine counterparts. 

Aimed at further strengthening the economic ties between the two countries, the Philippines-Russia Roundtable Meeting was held on April 19, 2018 at the Board of Investments (BOI) Building in Makati City. Trade Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Group and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo led the Philippine government lineup supported by Trade Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business Group Rowel S. Barba, BOI Industry Development Services Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa and BOI International Investments Promotion Service Director Angelica M. Cayas. Ministry of Economic Development Deputy Minister Alexey Gruzdev meanwhile led the 21-man Russian delegation and supported by Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Anatolyevich Khovaev.  The event was jointly organized by BOI-International Investments Promotion Service (BOI-IIPS) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Moscow (PTIC-Moscow).

 Usec Barba with Russian delegation
DTI Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo and Russian Ministry of Economic Development Deputy Minister Alexey Gruzdev with the rest of the participants in the Philippines-Russia Roundtable Meeting.

The roundtable meeting was a side activity of the Philippines-Russia Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation (JCTEC) Co-Chairs Meeting which was held in the afternoon of the same day with Undersecretary Rodolfo and Deputy Minister Gruzdev as co-chairs.

“Your visit today shows the commitment of both sides in pursing closer business relations that would hopefully increase bilateral trade and investments. There are number of trade and investment opportunities that the Philippines can offer to Russia, and be assured that we will be here to guide and assist you, starting from your due diligence visits until your business is operational”, said Trade Undersecretary Barba during his welcome remarks at the roundtable meeting.

Undersecretary Barba said the Philippines and Russia have already started boosting and revitalizing its economic journey. “The visit of our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in May 2017 resulted to an increase in number of incoming Russian business delegations to the Philippines and visits of government officials to Russia,” he said.

For his part, Deputy Minister Gruzdev provided an overview of the current situation of the Russian economy and identified the areas of economic cooperation that the two countries can explore on such as agriculture, aerospace, and power sectors. “I hope this meeting showed our sincere desire to be more than just friends and develop a mutually beneficial economic cooperation with the Philippines,” said Deputy Minister Gruzdev.

Undersecretary Rodolfo meanwhile presented the country’s trade and investment opportunities for strategic partnerships with Russia, particularly in manufacturing including aerospace, iron and steel, and automotive, construction services, natural gas and mineral mining and processing sectors. “We would like to encourage you to consider the investment side and benefits in making the Philippines as your production hub and gateway to the ASEAN and Asia markets, and to complement your existing foothold in Europe,” he said.

In support of Undersecretary Rodolfo’s presentation, Executive Director Dichosa also highlighted the general opportunities for manufacturing, and the sectoral propositions for automotive, iron and steel and aerospace industry.

An open forum and business matching activity followed where the private sector participants were grouped according to their sectors of interest and initiated possible business partnerships and collaboration with Philippine company representatives and counterparts.

Data from the DTI-Bureau of Trade and Industrial Policy Research showed that Russia ranked as the 24th import supplier, 29th trading partner and 37th export market of the Philippines in 2017. There is also a recorded 23.12% increase in PH’s export to Russia from US$49.83 M in 2016 to US$61.35 M in 2017.

Date of release: 26 April 2018

Philippine Ambassador to Moscow, Russia, Carlos D. Sorreta visited Go Lokal store and met with local suppliers to purchase samples of Philippine bags and accessories to be featured in Philippine Embassy Moscow's events in Russia.

Date of Release: 15 March 2018

 

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