BRASILIA, 25 JUNE 2021 - The Philippine Embassy in Brasilia Charge d’ affaires, ad interim Ms. Leilani S. Feliciano joined all the ASEAN Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Brasilia under the ASEAN Committee in Brasilia (ACB) for a videoconference with the Brazilian Federation of Foreign Trade Chambers of Commerce (FCCE) Vice President and organizer of the biggest Foreign Trade Digital Platform - COMEX in the State of Rio Grande do Sul (Associacao Comercial Porto Alegre) Mr Arno Gleisner and Philippine Honorary Consul General in Porto Alegre Dr. Somchai Ansuj where they delivered speeches or presentations on the Possible Trade and Investment Opportunities in the ASEAN and in their respective countries to 150 Brazilian importers, exporters and services providers in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul on 25 June 2021.
All ASEAN Heads of Missions (Ambassadors and Charge d’ affaires, a.i.) delivered their brief presentations and speeches (ASEAN AEPs delivered four-minute speeches or presentations each with Portuguese translation) on Introduction to ASEAN (presented by ASEAN Committee in Brasilia Chairperson Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Thi Kim Hoa) and on their respective countries to the FCCE Vice Pres. Gleisner, PH Honorary Consul General Somchai Ansuj and 150 Brazilian importers and exporters. The 90-minute program, however, proved to be too short to accommodate the other parts of the program. CDA, a.i. Feliciano delivered a four-minute speech on possible trade and investment opportunities in the Philippines.
Indonesian Ambassador Edi Yusup
The following ASEAN Ambassadors and Charge d´ affaires of the ASEAN Committee in Brasilia (ACB) who participated and delivered speeches and PP presentations were H.E. MRS. PHAM THI KIM HOA- (Chairperson, ASEAN Committee in Brasilia), Ambassador of Viet Nam; 2) H.E. MR. EDI YUSUP- (ACB Vice-Chairperson), Ambassador of Indonesia; 3) H.E. MR. LIM JUAY JIN, Ambassador of Malaysia; 4) H.E. MR. MYO TIN, Ambassador of Myanmar; 5) Hon. MS. LEILANI S. FELICIANO, Charge d’affaires, a.i. of the Philippines; 6) H.E. MR. DESMOND NG, Ambassador of Singapore; and 7) H.E. MS. NITIVADEE MANITKUL, Ambassador of Thailand.
In her speech, the CDA Feliciano stated that similar to majority of countries in the world, the Philippine economy has been adversely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has killed and infected millions of people and ravaged national economies. In the last quarter of 2020, the Philippines has contracted by 8.3% due to the economic fallout of the pandemic. There has been a decline in consumer spending, economic and business activity, including tourism. This resulted in a negative economic growth in 2020. A year before the onslaught of the pandemic, the Philippine economy grew by 6% full-year in 2019. Nevertheless, the Philippine Government remains resolute in its commitment to quickly bounce back economically while at the same time securing the health and well-being of the Filipino people. The Philippine Government is working vigorously to regain the country’s standing as one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia.
Malaysian Ambassador Lim Juay Jin
CDA Feliciano informed the body that while most parts of the country are already under the relaxed modified general community quarantine, several areas like economic hub Metro Manila still remain under the stricter General Community Quarantine due to the COVID-19 statistics and the ongoing National Immunization Program. However, earnest efforts are being undertaken by the Government to gain ground in terms of bilateral trade and investments, and tourism albeit in a gradual and strictly controlled manner. The Philippine Government’s priority is to ensure the health and safety of its people while at the same time, reviving the national economy.
The undersigned stated that the Philippines considers Brazil to be a key player in global and regional affairs. The Philippines shares Brazil’s desire in deepening engagement and further strengthening bilateral economic relations and cooperation. The Philippines and Brazil have met and concluded 4th Philippines-Brazil Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) Meeting in Manila on 03 September 2018 and the 5th Philippines-Brazil BCM meeting will be convened soon. Together, the Philippines and Brazil agreed to pursue specific plans of action to enhance bilateral political and economic cooperation in 2018. In 2020, the two countries hope to reinvigorate this bilateral cooperation and possibly negotiate and sign bilateral agreements during the 5th PH-BRA BCM in 202o. This event will coincide with the 75th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Philippines and Brazil this year.
Vietnam Ambassador Pham Thi Kom Hoa (Chairperson, ASEAN Committee in Brasilia)
Brazil continues to be the second largest trading partner of the Philippines in the Latin American region, second only to Mexico with a total bilateral trade of US$1,068.89 billion total in 2019 and US$839.37 million in 2020. The Philippines’ exports to Brazil amounted to US$185.26 million in 2019 and US$161.13 million in 2020. Bilateral trade has always been in favor of Brazil with Brazilian exports to the Philippines at US$883.64 billion total in 2019 and US$678.24 million in 2020. Moreover, the Philippines’ investment of International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI), a PH company, in Tecon Suape, Pernambuco reached almost US$100 million since it started.
Organizers and participants to the ASEAN Heads of Diplomatic Missions presentation under the ASEAN Committee in Brasilia (ACB)’s Videoconference with the Brazilian Federation of Foreign Trade Chambers of Commerce Vice President Mr. Gleisner and the Foreign Trade Digital Platform COMEX in the State of Rio Grande do Sul on the Possible Trade and Investment Opportunities in ASEAN and in respective countries, 25 June 2021
Finally, CDA Feliciano conveyed the fervent hope to significantly improve bilateral trade and investments and tourism cooperation with Brazil through export diversification by introducing high-end PH products into the Brazilian market such as PH world-class furniture and world-famous PH South Sea pearls and other manufactured goods. As the pandemic is slowly being resolved through mass vaccination, the Philippines hopes to reinvigorate bilateral economic relations and cooperation through heightened interaction between respective industries and business sectors and participation in trade missions and international trade fairs like the Manila FAME & IFEX, exchange of high-level visits of high-ranking officials and businessmen and formation of more cooperative programs in trade, tourism, and cultural pursuits with Brazil. END