RP-Bahrain forge agri, fisheries accord
Manila (6 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and His Highness Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa Salman Al Khalifa witnessed yesterday the signing of memorandum of understanding (MOU) on agricultural and fisheries cooperation between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap signed the MOU for the Philippines, while Minister Hassan A. Fakhro of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Bahrain signed the document on behalf of his country.
The simple signing ceremony was held at the Judaibiya Palace of the Prime Minister.
The MOU establishes a general framework for bilateral cooperation in agriculture and fisheries for the purpose of fostering sectoral development for the enhancement of agri-related trade and investment.
The parties will also endeavor to strengthen cooperation in plant science, crop technology, vegetable and fruit preservation, biotechnology, post-harvest technology, livestock and fisheries, organic agriculture, aquaculture, coastal and deep-sea fishing management, irrigation and water resources, halal industry, through the following:
- Exchange of science or technical materials and information in agriculture and fisheries;
- Exchange of professionals, scientists, technical experts and trainees;
- Conduct studies related to areas of mutual interest;
- Organization of training workshops, seminars and conference in areas of mutual interest;
- Conduct of promotional and facilitation activities including agricultural products, trade fairs and special exhibitions;
- Cooperation in the areas of food and commercial sectors and food industries, technology transfer and innovation, implementation of activities related to trading in agricultural products through meetings, seminars, and other methods considered appropriate; and
- Cooperation in other related areas to be identified and agreed upon by the countries, such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures relating to the import or export of agricultural and fisheries products.
To ensure the successful implementation of the MOU, the parties will create a joint committee composed of an equal number of representatives. This committee will meet twice a year, one in Manama and one in Manila, to study and formulate detailed programs for cooperation in the areas of agriculture and fisheries.
The joint committee will submit a report jointly prepared and certified to by the Secretary Agriculture of the Philippines and the Minister of Industry and Commerce and the Minister of Municipalities and Agriculture Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Before the MOU signing, President Arroyo had a private meeting with His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa at the Judaibiya Palace, where she also made her farewell courtesy call on Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa.
Prime Minister Shaikha Khalifa also hosted a luncheon to the presidential party at the banquet hall of the Palace. (PIA-MMIO) [top]