MANILA — The Philippine and Turkish governments have discussed a possible partnership to support the rehabilitation in Marawi City.
The discussion took place during the first Joint Committee on Trade, Economic, and Technical Cooperation (JCTEC) between the Philippines and Turkey in Ankara, Turkey.
The JTEC meet was from Feb. 5 to 6.
In a statement Wednesday, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Turkey could assist the Philippines in efforts to revive the former war zone Marawi, as the majority of the population of Turkey are Muslims.
Turkey can provide assistance on rolling out Islamic financing for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the clashes between government troops and terror group Maute. The clashes lasted for five months last year.
The Philippines and Turkey likewise aim to pursue a study identifying which industries can be put up in Mindanao, with the help of the businesses from both countries that will create more jobs in the region, particularly in Marawi.
Moreover, the dialogue between the Philippine and Turkish governments covers strengthening trade, investment promotions, and agriculture.
“The Philippines is committed to pursuing several growth opportunities by strengthening partnerships with emerging economic partners like Turkey,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, who led the delegation to Ankara.
Lopez met with Turkish National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli, who was designated to represent the Turkish government for the first JCTEC with the Philippines.
According to DTI, various areas that were discussed include cooperation on MSMEs; manufacturing such as textiles and garments, pharmaceuticals; agri-processing for mango, coconut, and banana; hotels and tourism; infrastructure; air services; customs; energy; science and technology; education; standardization; film and creatives; defense; and contracting and consultancy services.
Lopez noted that the Philippine exports to Turkey were currently limited to desiccated coconut, personal care products, electronics, and tires.
“During our discussions, we noticed that there are opportunities for our Philippine exporters -whether manufactured goods or services – to further tap the Turkish market,” the trade chief said.
“Engaging with Turkey is in line with the thrust of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration to engage with non-traditional trading partners to reinvigorate ties and increase trade between both countries,” he added. (PNA)