Philippines, Myanmar push agri, food security

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Myanmar are expected to see improved agriculture and food security sectors amid efforts to strengthen the economic relations between the two countries.

In a statement, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said President Duterte’s recent meeting with Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw and State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi “touched on mutually-beneficial strategies to increase trade and investment.”

Lopez said discussions also centered on the development of micro small medium enterprises and the provision of agri-technical assistance.

“By and large, there was heightened interest to increase investment in Philippine agriculture and food processing,” Lopez said.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry, both countries expressed interest in furthering agricultural technology, which includes capacity-building measures, education cooperation and exchange of best practices through agricultural specialists and experts.

Approaches to improve the production of hybrid rice and piña fiber clothing was also tackled during the meeting.

“All these initiatives will be under a Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation,” the trade chief said.

A memorandum of understanding  on food security and agricultural cooperation was signed by both countries, the DTI said.

The main objective of the MOU is to make food accessible and affordable.  This can be achieved through the promotion of joint development ventures, the conduct of research and development transfer or technology transfer, sourcing of raw materials for value adding and conduct of training and capacity-building both in technological and managerial levels.

Lopez said Myanmar is also welcome to study Philippine agriculture, according to the MOU.

“Of course, as chair of ASEAN, the Philippines consistently sought Myanmar’s support for the region’s deliverables this year, touching on increasing trade and investment, integrating MSMEs into the global value chain and promoting an innovation-driven economy,” he said.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/business/2017/03/23/1683623/philippines-myanmar-push-agri-food-security