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Spanish foreign minister visiting Philippines

Publication Date : 20-03-2014


The Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain is set to visit the Philippines for two days during which he will meet with President Benigno Aquino III and visit Tacloban City, Leyte to check on the rehabilitation efforts in the area.

“Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs José Manuel García-Margallo and his delegation will undertake an official visit to the Philippines from March 24 to 25 at the invitation of Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced in a statement Thursday.

“A highlight of Minister Margallo’s visit is his trip to Tacloban City on March 25. Spain is one of the biggest donors to the rescue and rehabilitation efforts in areas hard hit by super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan),” it said.

A delegation of chief executive officers and representatives from 15 major Spanish businesses will be with Margallo along with Spanish government officials from the Spanish International Cooperation and Development Agency (Aecid) and Spanish Economic Ministry (Mineco).

Aquino, along with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Del Rosario,  will  hold high-level political and economic discussions with Margallo and his group.

Margallo will also speak before the Makati Business Club and inspect a Foreign Language Special Education Program implemented by the Department of Education, the Embassy of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes in Bangkal Highschool in Makati.

“Total trade between the two countries from January to October 2013 is valued at $385,130,000,” DFA said. “The total investments from Spain from January to September 2013 amounted to $200,000.”

“The top Philippine products exported to Spain are coconut (copra) oil, yellowfin tunas, seaweeds, and pineapples,” it said.

There were 17,126 Spanish tourists who visited the Philippines in 2013 and there is great potential in increasing tourism exchanges between the two countries.  An estimated 40,000 Filipinos live in Spain, according to records of the DFA.


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