PH, Thailand set to ink expanded tech, tourism, agri deals
BANGKOK — Three government-to government deals are expected to be signed between the Philippines and Thailand during the three-day official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte here on March 20-22.
Speaking to reporters, Philippine Ambassador to Thailand Mary Jo Bernardo-Aragon said Monday that bilateral agreements on the areas of science and technology, tourism and agriculture would be signed.
“There will be three documents that will be signed, one is on science and technology, the other one is tourism,” Aragon told reporters.
Though the Philippines and Thailand had already inked a Tourism Cooperation Agreement in March 1993, she said the targeted tourism agreement here was more on “expanding our areas of cooperation” and “helping each other in the tourism industry.”
“For instance, we can learn a lot also from our friends here in Thailand on how they have managed to increase the number of tourists arrivals here, their infrastructures, so these are the things we will really have [to adopt to] help also our tourism industry,” she said.
“For instance we can encourage our institutions, academics that are involved in the tourism industry to learn from their counterparts here, so there could be joint marketing promotions but these are just possibilities, which will have to be further discussed between the two sides,” she added.
In the area of science and technology, Aragon said the Philippines and Thailand would sign agreements on areas of research and development but she said Manila and Bangkok “will have to discuss the specific areas in research and development and all other aspects in science and technology.”
The agreement on science and technology, she said, was expected to help micro, small and medium enterprises in the Philippines.
“The use of tech and e-commerce will help both countries, especially small and medium enterprises,” she said.
Aragon said another agreement to be signed would on the area of agriculture, where the Philippines could benefit from Thailand’s agricultural sector.
“The other [agreement] is on the farm and dairy buffalo production. We also have an agreement signed in 2003. This is one aspect where an area of cooperation can be concluded between our Philippine Carabao Center and [Thailand’s agriculture department],” she said.