THE PHILIPPINES AND NORWAY CONDUCT 4th ROUND OF BILATERAL CONSULTATIONS
13 April 2018, Oslo – The Philippines and the Kingdom of Norway successfully concluded the 4th PH-Norway bilateral consultations on 12 April 2018. During the consultations, DFA Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo and Secretary General Wegger Strømmen of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the commitment of the Philippines and Norway to further enhance bilateral cooperation in various areas of mutual interest. Maritime cooperation, energy, sustainable use and protection of oceans, and counter-terrorism were discussed. Both sides expressed keen interest in the immediate implementation of the recently ratified PH-EFTA Free Trade Agreement, which is set to enter into force in June this year.
Undersecretary Manalo greets Secretary General Strømmen
Undersecretary Manalo and State Secretary Marianne Hagen of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had further exchanges of views on regional and multilateral developments. Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO) Undersecretary Astravel Pimentel-Naik, on the other hand, underscored people-to-people connections between the Philippines and Norway.
The Philippines and Norway share a long history of friendship and cooperation, exemplified by the 25,000 Filipino seafarers on board Norwegian ships, and the 21,000-strong Filipino community based in Norway. The 4th PH-Norway bilateral consultations came at a significant time as the two countries celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations.
On the Philippine side, the delegation included Ambassador Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia, Assistant Secretary Bayani Mercado, Deputy Chief of Mission Maria Elena Algabre. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) were represented by Trade and Investment Officer for the Nordic countries Mary Borromeo-Hedfors, and Maritime Attaché Arsenio F. Lingad II, respectively.
The Norwegian delegation included Ambassador to the Philippines Erik Førner, and Director Inga Marie W. Nyhamar. – END –