PH, Vietnam eye 5-year rice trade agreement
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and Vietnam are working on a five-year rice trade agreement that is hoped to help address the former’s food security concerns.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh met on the sidelines of the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit on Thursday.
“Our two countries will conclude an inter-government agreement on rice trade so that our rice export to the Philippines will ensure food security in the Philippines. We look forward to having a stable framework of cooperation on rice trade for a long period of at least five years. With that, we can ensure our production and you can also ensure imports from Vietnam,” Chinh told Marcos.
Marcos, the Philippines’ concurrent Department of Agriculture chief, said the country looks forward to this deal in light of concerns about food security amid the El Niño phenomenon.
“We hope that we can find an agreement so that there will be an exchange,” said Marcos.
Talks of rice deals with Vietnam have been ongoing since August, when Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said 300,000 to 500,000 metric tons of additional rice may be imported from Vietnam at discounted prices.
The two leaders spoke about other matters, as well as expanding the digital economy and green economy.
“With the growing importance in the world stage of Asean, the relationships between member countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines have grown in importance. It is to our advantage that we have taken not just one but more steps in strengthening the partnership, the alliance, the relationship not only in the bilateral context of Asean but also arrangement between our two countries,” Marcos told his Vietnamese counterpart.