PH, Argentina explore agri, energy, science partnerships

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo has made a historic trip to Argentina and met his counterpart to discuss the possibility of Philippine-Argentinian cooperation on agriculture, energy and science.

On Wednesday, Sep. 13 (Argentina time), Manalo met with Argentinian Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship Santiago Andres Cafiero upon the latter's invitation as Manila and Buenos Aires commemorate their 75th year of diplomatic relations.

"The visit comes at a crucial time when Philippines-Argentina relations are both maturing and enjoying renewed vigor," the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

Enrique Manalo Santiago Cafiero
Photo courtesy of DFA Sec. Enrique Manalo

The possibility of the Philippines importing rice from Argentina; nuclear and renewable energy cooperation; and partnership on space, science and pathology were among those discussed by the two diplomats, according to DFA.

Manalo and Cafiero also noted the "positive developments in the bilateral trade and investment" between the two countries and recognized other potential for increased trade, DFA added, as trade between countries reached 674 million USD by the end of 2022, from an average of 400 million USD from the past years.

Both diplomats also pushed to enhance ties in multilateral arena, such as the UN and the South-South Cooperation, among others.

"As democratic nations with a shared vision and values, the Philippines and Argentina are united in their unwavering support for the role of multilateralism in advancing transformative and positive change in the global context," the DFA said.

Manalo, in his post on X (formerly Twitter), said he offered flowers at the monument of General Jose de San Martín, Argentina's national hero and one of Latin America’s great Liberators before his meeting at the Palacio San Martín with Cafiero.

"As the Philippines and Argentina enter a new era in their diplomatic relations, the Ministers expressed satisfaction at the many milestones achieved in the last 75 years, and underscored the importance of sustaining momentum to ensure that the bonds of friendship remain strong and vibrant," DFA said.