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RP, Croatia sign pacts on cooperation

First Posted 05:16:00 06/25/2009

MANILA, Philippines--The Philippines and Croatia have concluded two agreements on cooperation in the fields of culture and sports, which will pave the way for greater people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, according to the Philippine Embassy in Vienna.

The agreements were a Memorandum of Agreement on Cultural Cooperation, which aims to promote better understanding between the peoples of the two countries and a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Sports.

In a report to the home office, Philippine Ambassador to Vienna Linglingay Lacanlale, who has concurrent jurisdiction over Croatia, said the first agreement was signed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo during the visit to Croatia and Croatia?s Minister of Culture Bozo Biskupic last month.

Lacanlale said that Biskupic stressed the importance of the agreement as a way of forging closer collaboration between Croatia and the Philippines in promoting their cultural heritage in each other?s country.

On the other hand, the second agreement was signed by Lacanlale and Croatia?s State Secretary for Science, Technology and Sports Dragan Primorac.

Lacanlale said the MOU was expected to build up institutional networking and people-to-people contacts, and to pave the way for the creation of an exchange program for athletes and coaches.

"Croatia holds an outstanding record in international sports competitions, particularly in basketball, handball, football and tennis, thereby opening potential cooperation agreements in exchange and training programs and the establishment of linkages between the sports bodies? of the two countries,? the ambassador said.

?With the implementation of the MOU, the Philippines and Croatia can benefit from each other?s expertise in the development of sports in their countries,? she stressed.

Lacanlale also said the embassy was pursuing specific initiatives in this area, including the hosting of a festival of Filipino films in Zagreb and facilitating the visits of Filipino and Croatian artists.

The Philippines and Croatia established diplomatic relations in 1993.

There are 51 Filipinos in Croatia as of the latest count. According to the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, four Filipinos have business permits in Croatia. The ships that dock in the ports of Rijeka, Zadar, Dubrovnik and Split are also mostly manned by Filipino seafarers.

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