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Philippines keen to forge strong ties with Ethiopia: President Marcos Jr.

Addis Ababa, August 16, 2023 (FBC) – President of the Philippines, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Ethiopia and his country should establish air linkages to strengthen their bilateral relations.

President Marcos said this as he accepted the credentials of Dessie Dalkie Dukamo, Non-Resident Ambassador-Designate of Ethiopia to the Philippines in Malacañang on Tuesday.

“Let’s work on that. Let that be the first job that we give ourselves. We make that connection easier. I think it’s never a bad thing to start with people-to-people relations that are always so important,” Marcos said in a press release issued Wednesday.

“Sometimes I say that foreign diplomacy is best conducted by ordinary people rather than diplomats. Which I’m sure you’re happy about. Because we are proud of our citizens. They are all good ambassadors for our country. Any good contact for us is necessarily a good thing,” he added.

Marcos also said the Philippines should seize the opportunity of forging a stronger partnership with Ethiopia as Africa positions itself as an emerging major economy.

“I think the whole world is very excited about — how most of Africa is positioned in terms of — now coming and emerging… as major economy, as they already are,” Marcos said.

He noted that the Philippines and Ethiopia could explore many areas such as trade, transfer of technology and other exchanges.

For his part, Ambassador Dessie said Ethiopia could look at the Philippines development trajectory.

“We know how the Philippines is growing from traditional agriculture to services and manufacturing industry, especially in the area of technical and vocational training. The way how the Philippines makes its people…skilled and dedicated and productive,” Amb. Dessie said.

The Ambassador also lauded the Filipino workers for their dedication, hard work and discipline.

“We know well the Philippines through its workers. We are so grateful and we can share a lot in the area of trade and industry. From the fastest growing economy, we can share a lot. Ethiopia is also now growing larger, step by step (becoming) a large country and the largest economy in East Africa with huge potential in trade and investment,” he said.

It is noted that Ethiopia and the Philippines formally established diplomatic relations on February 7, 1977, and are celebrating 46 years of diplomatic relations this year.

Since the establishment of bilateral relations, two agreements have been signed between the governments of the Philippines and Ethiopia: first, on Air Services (signed on October 8, 2014 in Manila); and, second, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Establishment of a Bilateral Consultations Mechanism between the Philippines and Ethiopia (signed on October 11, 2016 in Manila).

Other pending agreements being considered are on Information and Communications Technology; Promotion and Protection of Investments; Labor Cooperation; Visa Waiver Agreement for Diplomatic Passport Holders; Culture and Tourism; and, Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion.

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