Marcos, Scholz to discuss trade, jobs, West PH Sea

Marcos, Scholz to discuss trade, jobs, West PH Sea

/ 05:10 AM March 12, 2024

PresidentMarcos Olaf Scholz —AFP—MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

President Marcos                                                                                     Olaf Scholz —AFP

BERLIN—President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is hopeful that his visits to Germany’s capital here, and later that of the Czech Republic, will bear “fruitful outcomes,” considering their “shared affinity” with national hero Jose Rizal, who famously visited the two central European countries in the late 1800s.

On top of the agenda of his meeting on Tuesday with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz are increased maritime trade, labor opportunities and renewable energy, among other “very important, mutual shared interests” between Manila and Berlin, Philippine Ambassador to Germany Irene Susan Natividad told Radio Television Malacañang here.


The Philippine leader is also expected to discuss the country’s maritime dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea in separate talks with German and Czech leaders.


READ: Marcos departs for Germany, Czech Republic

During his departure speech at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, Mr. Marcos said the Philippines and the two European countries were “like-minded” and shared “values for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, including the promotion of an open, inclusive, international rules-based order.”

“We will also focus on expanding economic cooperation, opening up more avenues for mutually beneficial trade and investment opportunities,” he added.

The President left for Berlin aboard Philippine Airlines Flight PR 001 at around 3:50 p.m. on Monday, accompanied by first lady Liza Araneta-Marcos and a handful of Cabinet officials.

He said he was looking forward to “productive discussions, fruitful collaboration, and memorable experiences” that would cement the “enduring ties” between the Philippines, Germany and the Czech Republic, also known as Czechia.

He pointed out that the Philippines had “long enjoyed and robust relations” with the two nations.


The Philippines marked 50 years of diplomatic ties with Czechia last year, and is marking its 70th year of bilateral relations with Germany this year.

Rizal connection

Mr. Marcos mentioned how Rizal, in his youth, stayed for 15 months in Germany from 1886 to 1887, and visited the Czech Republic for five days in 1887, about a decade before his martyrdom in 1896.

Rizal’s affection for Germany and its people was “evident in his many travels around the world,” the President said.

Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” was published in Berlin, while Rizal’s dear friend and “kindred spirit” Ferdinand Blumentritt was born in Prague, the Czech capital.

“I look on my trip to the center of Europe with anticipation and optimism for the opportunities to be explored and for our friendship with the German and Czech nations to be affirmed and strengthened. As we embark on that journey, I’m confident that this visit will yield fruitful outcomes,” Mr. Marcos said.

The Chief Executive said he would also stress the Philippines’ “unwavering commitment to strengthening partnerships with like-minded countries promoting the rules-based international order” in his visits to Berlin and Prague.

The President is expected to arrive in Berlin on Monday night.

The first event of his two-day working visit here is a meeting with Scholz on Tuesday. Then he will attend several business conferences and the German-Philippine Business Forum before meeting with the Filipino community in Berlin that day.

Maritime cooperation

“We wish to tap Germany’s expertise in renewable energy to assist us in our energy transition efforts, as well as on manufacturing, health care, agriculture, aerospace, innovation and startups, information technology, business process management, minerals processing,” Mr. Marcos said.

The President will also witness the signing of government-to-government agreements in Berlin—a joint declaration of intent on strengthening maritime cooperation and a cooperation program between the Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority and the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training.

On Thursday, he will travel to Prague to meet with Czechia’s constitutional heads of government: President Petr Pavel and Prime Minister Petr Fiala, Senate President Miloš Vystrčil and Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Markéta Pekarová Adamová.

On Friday, the last day of his state visit to Czechia, Mr. Marcos will meet with Czech business leaders at the Philippine-Czech Business Forum and with the Filipino community in Prague.

Safe, orderly migration

“We wish to harness the Czech Republic’s expertise on agriculture, manufacturing, especially in the automotive industry, transportation, renewable energy, space and scientific instruments that they have been leading the world in, in terms of technology,” the President said.

He will witness the signing of a joint communique on the establishment of a labor consultation mechanism to elevate cooperation with the country on the safe and orderly migration and higher protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) there.

Mr. Marcos said other agreements were in the pipeline, “especially on the Czech side.”

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“We are eager to invite German and Czech businesses to consider the Philippines as a production hub for their products…. It is important that as we enhance our labor cooperation with these countries, our highest priority remains the protection of the rights and welfare of our [OFWs],” he said. INQ

TAGS: Bongbong marcos, Czech Republic, visit

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