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PHL, Papua New Guinea sign deal on agriculture cooperation

The Philippines and Papua New Guinea on Wednesday signed an agriculture cooperation aimed at boosting food security in both countries.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and Papua New Guinea Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Benny Allan inked the Joint Declaration on Agriculture Cooperation at a ceremony held in Malacañang during the official visit of Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

The declaration lays down the commitment of both countries to expand and strengthen cooperation in rice grains and industrial crops production, aquaculture and inland fish farming, livestock breeding and improvement, and agri-business development.

“We have asked our relevant officials to negotiate and conclude at the soonest possible time an agreement that will bring our bilateral agriculture cooperation to the modern era, one that will truly be transformative and a hallmark of genuine partnership,” Duterte said after the bilateral meeting with O'Neill.

O’Neill said the agriculture cooperation between the Philippines and Papua New Guinea will help ensure food security for both countries. 

Apart from agriculture cooperation, Duterte and O'Neill also discussed defense and security cooperation, trade and investment relations, and people-to-people exchanges.

“In the pursuit of greater peace, progress, and prosperity for our peoples, we have realized that we have to do more together to ensure what we want to achieve and the goals reached. These must be translated into actions the sustained projects and tangible results that can be measured,” Duterte said.

Duterte also thanked O’Neill for accepting his invitation to visit the Philippines when they met in last year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam.

The President also expressed the Philippines’ full support for Papua New Guinea’s chairmanship of this year’s APEC meetings.

“The Philippines is positive that under Prime Minister O’Neill’s leadership, APEC will continue to be an important forum for ensuring sustained and inclusive economic growth and development in the region,” Duterte said.

Duterte hosted a dinner in honor of the visiting premier following the meetings in the presidential palace.

O’Neill will cap off his three-day visit to the country by touring the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija on Thursday. He will then proceed to Japan. — BAP, GMA News