Foreign undersecretary Manlio Di Stefano on Thursday ended a visit to the Philippines aimed at taking bilateral relations to a new level and also headed an Italian business delegation to the country during his trip, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“In recent years, the Philippines have promoted enormous changes both in their domestic policies and in their international profile...it is paving the way for new opportunities for partners capable of offering infrastructure advancements and technological innovation," Di Stefano said.
"We are lucky enough to have an industry that is completely complementary with that of the Philippines and we could very well be that partner. Starting today, Italy and the Philippines have relaunched a new high-level relationship.”
During talks with the minister of agriculture of the Philippines, Emmanuel Pinol, Di Stefano and Pinol explored ways for Italian companies to be part of a plan to relaunch the country's fishing and agriculture sectors, according to the foreign ministry.
Di Stefano and Pinol's meeting also centred on a preliminary accord or memorandum of understanding on bilateral cooperation in the agriculture sector, especially in the field of agricultural mechanisation, said the foreign ministry.
Italy-Philippines cooperation in the defence sector - which the two countries are moving to expand to the civil sector - was the focus of a meeting between Di Stefano and defence undersecretary Cesar Yano, the foreign ministry said.
Another theme addressed in Di Stefano's talks with Yano was cooperation in the cyberspace and aerospace sectors, the foreign ministry added.
During his visit, Di Stefano also held talks with foreign minister Teodoro Locsin , finance minister Carlos Domínguez III and Asian Development Bank vice-president Shixin Chen, the foreign ministry noted.