Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell (Photo courtesy of the Australian Ministry for Trade and Tourism)
MANILA – The Philippines is preparing to welcome Australian Trade and Tourism Minister Don Farrell, who will be in the country on a working visit from April 20 to 25, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.
Farrell will be meeting with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan and Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno to discuss “issues of mutual concern,” the DFA said.
The official will be flying to Manila following a visit to Vietnam.
Prior to his trip, Farrell said Australia is looking to identify opportunities to further strengthen economic ties with Manila, particularly in mining, tourism, education and renewable energy.
“In our region, Vietnam and the Philippines are among the top emerging markets for international visitation to Australia and we hope our strong bilateral relationships with both nations will see continued growth in two-way travel,” he said.
Apart from government officials, Farrell will meet business leaders and travel and tourism industry representatives to discuss how Canberra and Manila can boost two-way trade, investment and tourism.
This is the third visit to the Philippines by a high ranking official of the Australian government in 2023, following Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles visit in February and Special Envoy for Southeast Asia Nicholas Moore’s trip last month.
Marles had earlier met with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., Vice President Sara Duterte and Department of National Defense (DND) Senior Undersecretary and officer-in-charge Carlito Galvez, Jr., while Special Envoy Moore met with Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Pascual and Diokno.
“These visits reflect the strong bilateral relations between the Philippines and Australia, as the two countries work towards the elevation of their relations to a higher plane this year,” the DFA said.
The Philippines and Australia celebrate 77 years of friendship this year, highlighting deep and broad cooperation in a wide range of areas.