MANILA – An Australian official is eyeing to have direct flights between Manila and Adelaide which will open more opportunities in tourism, education and business for the Philippines and Australia.
During a special joint meeting with Management Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Friday, South Australian Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith said they will meet with officials of Philippine Airlines to discuss the opening of direct flights between Manila and Adelaide.
“We’re very keen to see direct flights from Manila to Adelaide… At least two to three days a week or possibly more,” he said.
“We think Australians need a new tourist destination. Bali features prominently as a destination for Adelaide travelers along with Europe, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong. With direct flight Adelaide to Manila, you’ll see more Australian tourists coming to the Philippines,” the South Australian government official added.
On the other hand, around 16,000 Filipinos are living in Adelaide for work or study.
“Adelaide has direct flights to Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Qatar, Bali. What is missing is a direct flight with the Philippines,” Hamilton-Smith said.
“So we’re very keen to see direct flights. We’re discussing with Philippine Airlines for the prospects. We want to present the opportunity,” he stressed.
Having direct flights between the two cities will open up freight for food, wine, and other products which will boost bilateral trade, he said.
The Philippines and Australia are enjoying duty-free access to both markets with the ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) which entered into force in 2015.
Hamilton-Smith is leading a business mission of South Australian companies to Southeast Asia.
Among the areas of trade that South Australia targets to increase include supply of premium food and wine, wheat, dairy, and fruit and vegetables; provision of education and training; professional services and development assistance; and oil, gas, and mineral exploration and associated services and technologies.
“This mission is a commitment by South Australia not only to develop relationships for industry, but to also strengthen government-to-government links. We are keen to build on relationship with the Philippine government,” Hamilton-Smith said.
Meanwhile, Philippine companies will be visiting Adelaide in September for a business mission.