By Roy Mabasa
The Philippines and Saudi Arabia on Friday explored possible cooperation in the areas of security, trade, and investment, agriculture, energy, finance, education, cultural tourism, youth and sports, technical training and technology.
This surfaced at the conclusion of the 5thJoint Commission Meeting in Manila where both countries have reaffirmed their commitment to advance bilateral cooperation that spans for 49 years.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the two sides discussed bilateral agreements on the deployment of workers of general category and household workers, and the Memoranda of Understanding in the fields of agriculture, sports, media, Islamic affairs, and development cooperation.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo Vice and Saudi Labor Minister Abdullah Nasser Abouthnain led their respective delegations in the meeting.
Diplomatic relations with Riyadh were established on October 24, 1969.
Since 1980, the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have signed a number of agreements, mostly under the auspices of the Joint Commission Meetings established under the 1994 general framework agreement on economic, trade, commercial, investment, and technical cooperation.
Relations continue to remain vibrant with total trade of around US$1.25 billion in 2017. Saudi Arabia also hosts almost a million Filipino workers.