PH and Vietnam draft a five-year rice trade agreement
MANILA, Philippines — Philippines and Vietnam are drawing up a five-year long rice trade agreement.
During a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Thursday, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sat down with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
“Our two countries will conclude an inter-government agreement on rice trade so that our rice export to the Philippines will ensure food security in the Philippines,” Pham told Marcos.
“We look forward to having a stable framework of cooperation on rice trade for a long period of at least five years. With that we can ensure our production and you can also ensure imports from Vietnam,” the Vietnamese leader added.
For his part, Marcos said Philippines looks forward to this deal in light of concerns with food security and amid the El Niño phenomenon and droughts.
“We hope that we can find an agreement so that there will be an exchange,” said Marcos.
Talks on rice deals with Vietnam have been ongoing since August.
Department of Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said 300,000 to 500,000 metric tons of additional rice may be imported from Vietnam at discounted prices.
Marcos and Pham also discussed other matters, including the expansion of digital technology and green economy.
“With the growing importance in the world stage of Asean, the relationships between member countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines have grown importance,” Marcos told his Vietnamese counterpart.
“It is to our advantage that we have taken, not just one, but more steps in strengthening the partnership, the alliance, the relationship not only in the bilateral context of Asean, but also (the) arrangement between our two countries,” he added.