MANAMA: Key agreements were signed yesterday to further strengthen relations between Bahrain and the Philippines.
They were signed during official talks His Majesty King Hamad held with the visiting Philippines President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, at Sakhir Palace. The agreements include setting up of a joint commission on bilateral trade, avoidance of double taxation, strengthening aviation links as well as new investments.
His Majesty praised President Duterte’s keenness to develop ties and said his visit represents a vital step in further consolidating relations, mainly in the trade, economic and investment fields.
He also highlighted Bahrain’s flexible laws and conducive environment for investments that have attracted leading banks and companies from around the world to establish their headquarters in the kingdom.
The King expressed his appreciation for the Filipino community’s contribution to Bahrain’s development.
A number of agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed in the following areas:
A memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a Joint High Commission on Bilateral Co-operation was signed by Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and Philippines Acting Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo.
They also signed a memorandum of understanding on co-operation between the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Service Institute of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.
A protocol on amending articles of an agreement on avoidance of double taxation was signed by Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa and the Philippine acting foreign secretary.
A draft protocol on an agreement on regulating air transport services between the two countries was signed by Transportation and Communications Minister Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed and Philippine Secretary of Transportation Arthur Tugade.
The King and the Philippine President welcomed the agreements.
His Majesty stressed that the Philippines President’s visit represents a vital step towards strengthening bilateral relations and broadening co-operation in various areas, chiefly in trade, economic and investment.
He emphasised the role of the joint high commission in promoting cooperation and holding joint investment projects to contribute to the further expanding trade exchange.
He underlined Bahrain’s suitable investment environment and flexible laws that have attracted leading banks and companies to establish their headquarters in Bahrain.
He also commended the Philippine’s achievement at the Asian level in economic and development fields.
Regional and international developments were also discussed, as well as topics of mutual interest.
President Duterte thanked the king for his hospitality, and praised his keenness on boosting relations.
He praised Bahrain’s development and its policy of openness that had contributed to progress and prosperity.
The King hosted a dinner banquet in honour of President Duterte.