3rd PHL-Brazil Bilateral Consultation Meeting: Potential to Strengthen, Expand Relations

The Philippines and Brazil held their 3rd Bilateral Consultation Meeting (BCM) on August 25 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil. The Philippine delegation was headed by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Evan P. Garcia and composed of  Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Eva Betita and other Philippine government officials. The Brazilian delegation was led by Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jose Alfredo Graça Lima.

The two sides agreed on strengthening and expanding the full range of cooperation between the Philippines and Brazil, including joint effort in poverty alleviation, open government partnership, bioenergy, sports, tourism, trade and investment and defense and in combating terrorism and human trafficking.

The two delegations agreed that the Philippines and Brazil could serve as each other’s gateways into their respective regions and took the opportunity to brief each other on developments in ASEAN and MERCOSUR (in Spanish: Mercado Común del Sur or Southern Common Market) .

Both sides also held wide ranging discussions on global and regional issues, including United Nations reforms, cooperation for disaster management and maritime security.

Prior to the meeting, Undersecretary Garcia, accompanied by Ambassador Betita, paid a courtesy call on Brazilian Foreign Minister Luis Alberto Figueiredo.

The BCM was concluded with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Foreign Service Institute and Rio Branco Institute on the Exchange of Diplomatic Trainings. Ambassador Eva Betita signed on behalf of the Philippines, while Minister Sergio Barreiros de Santana Azevedo, Deputy Director General of Rio Branco Institute, signed on behalf of Brazil.

Undersecretary Garcia also delivered a speech on ASEAN and regional security architecture at the University of Brasilia, a leading national state university in Brazil.Members of the diplomatic community, officials from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, professors, and college and graduate students of international relations, law, economics and sociology, and media were present.

Below are the full Records of the 3rd Philippines-Brazil Bilateral Consultation Meeting.


3rd  Philippines-Brazil Bilateral Consultation Meeting

The Philippines and Brazil held their 3rd Bilateral Consultation Meeting in Brasilia, Brazil on 25 August 2014. The Philippine delegation was led by Undersecretary for Policy Evan P. Garcia and the Brazilian delegation, by Undersecretary General for Political Affairs II, Ambassador José Alfredo Graça Lima. [...]

Bilateral Relations

The two Heads of Delegation reaffirmed the solid ties of friendship between the Philippines and Brazil, founded on mutual respect, shared cultural heritageand the strengthening of democratic institutions in both countries. They expressed satisfaction with the renewed momentum of the Philippines-Brazil bilateral relations as exchanges of high-level visits and technical experts continue to increase and the flows of bilateral trade and investment show a steady trajectory. They commended the regularity of the Bilateral Consultations mechanism, which was convened in 2010, 2012 and 2014; the setting up of a Joint Commission on Bioenergy, which held its first meeting in October 2013; as well as the Joint Working Group on Agriculture, which was convened in 2010.

The two Heads of Delegation highlighted their countries' shared commitment to inclusive and sustainable growth and transparent and open governance. Undersecretary Garcia manifestedappreciation for the advice and assistance rendered by Brazil in the Philippine government's Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty, a poverty alleviation program which seeks to expand its existing conditional cash transfer program. Ambassador Graça Lima reiterated Brazilian willingness to continue this kind of cooperation.

Ambassador Graça Lima welcomed the Philippine decision, announced in November 2013, to adopt the ISDB-T digital television standard, also called "Japanese Brazilian standard".

The two sides agreed to take into consideration the recommendations put forth in the NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement, as discussed in The Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance, held in São Paulo in April 2014.

The two sides acknowledged the significant potential of trade and investment relations and commended the presence of the Philippines Trade and Investment Center in São Paulo. Brazil is the Philippines' biggest trading partner in South America. Investment relations were given a boost by the entry into Brazil of the Philippines' International Container Terminal Services Inc., which operates a terminal in the Port of Suape, and the transshipment operation in the Philippines of Brazilian company Vale.

The two Heads of Delegation welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Foreign Service Institute and Rio Branco Institute and look forward to its implementation.They alsoexpressed their interest to strengthen their cooperation in the area of sport and tourismand highlighted the importance attached to promoting people-to-people contacts. In this connection, it was recalled that about 806 Filipinos currently live in Brazil.

The two Heads of Delegation expressed both countries' interest in the ongoing negotiations of bilateral instruments in the areas of judicial cooperation, cultural cooperation, defense cooperation, and technical cooperation.

Undersecretary Garcia briefed the Brazilian delegation of the developments in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, developments in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the progress in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of areas severely damaged by Typhoon Yolanda. Ambassador Graça Lima thanked Undersecretary Garcia forthose remarks and expressed his hope that the steps taken so far by the Philippine governmentwill bear positive and enduring fruits. Undersecretary Garcia expressed the Philippine government sincere appreciation for the financial assistance, in the amount of US$ 450,000, given by the Government of Brazil to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Food Agriculture Organizationand the United Nations Children's Fund.

Regional Issues

Undersecretary Garcia informed that the Philippines is fully committed to a peaceful, rules-based approach to resolving the maritime disputes in theSouth China Seaand cited the Philippine Triple Action Plan initiative which calls for the cessation of tensions in the region, effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct in the South China Sea,the expeditious conclusion of the Code of Conduct, and arbitration to clarify maritime entitlements in the region. Ambassador Graça Lima thanked him for his comments. The two sides underscored the importance of maintaining peace, stability and freedom of navigation in the region. 

Ambassador Graça Lima briefed the Philippine delegation on the developments in MERCOSUR and other developments in Latin America and had a fruitful discussion with the Philippine delegation on ASEAN-Brazil relations.

 In this connection, Ambassador Graça Lima recalled that Brazil´s decision to accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), in 2012, reflected the importance attached by the Brazilian government to the intensification of the relations with ASEAN. Undersecretary Garcia welcomedonce again Brazil´s accession to the TAC and expressed Philippines' firm support for the strengthening of the ties between Brazil and ASEAN.

Multilateral Issues

The two sides affirmed the importance of bilateral mechanisms such as bilateral consultations, and multilateral platforms, such as United Nations, the World Trade Organization, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR), Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) and the Open Government Partnership in achieving their common goals.

The two Heads of Delegation discussed the need to update the mechanisms of international political and economic governance, such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in order to reflect the reality of today's international system.

Both sides reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, legitimate and effective, so that it can be more responsive to current global challenges. They underscored that, almost 70 years after the creation of the Organization and 10 years after the adoption of the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit, time has come for achieving concrete outcomes on this long overdue process. In this context, Undersecretary Graça Lima reiterated Brazil´s appreciation for the Philippine valuable support for its candidacy for a permanent seat in a reformed United Nations Security Council.

The two countries emphasized the importance they attach to fiscal transparency in good governance and highlighted their efforts to promote the topic through initiatives such as the Global Initiative on Fiscal Transparency.

Both sides coincided on the importance of reaching a consensus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieving an ambitious Post-2015 Development Agenda. These discussions offer an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen the global efforts to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development.

The two sides agreed to hold the 4th BCM in Manila at a mutually convenient date in the near future.

Source: www.dfa.gov.ph Date accessed: 29 Aug 2014



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