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PIA Press Release

RP, Peru agree to expand trade relations

Manila (24 November) -- The reintroduction of Spanish as a second language in Philippine schools next year is a very timely move as the Philippines and Peru have agreed to expand their trade relations, Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Peruvian President Alan Garcia held bilateral talks Saturday night after the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) dialogue at the Ministry of Defense (MOD) center in Lima, Peru.

Dureza noted that the Philippines and Peru share many significant commonalities. Both predominantly Catholic, the two countries were ruled by Spain for hundreds of years.

Lima is the center of Christianity in South America, the same role played by the Philippines in Asia.

"We have so much in common. We can explore a lot of possibilities like more trade between our two countries," Dureza quoted President Garcia as saying.

Dureza said the meeting was very casual with the two leaders sharing commonalities and talking about the kinship between their two countries in straight Spanish.

Aside from the two countries' common Spanish heritage, President Garcia has a soft heart for the Philippines, recalling that as a young boy, his mother would keep reminding him that he was the son of the "President of the Philippine Republic."

Dureza said the Peruvian president later found out that his father was a namesake of the late Carlos P. Garcia, then president of the Philippines.

During their meeting, the President also informed her host that she was going to hear mass on Sunday at the Sta. Rosa de Lima Chapel here, her last activity in her two-day visit to Peru. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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