Stronger Trade Relations Highlighted in PH Independence Day, PH-Spanish Friendship Day in Madrid

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Ambassador to Spain Philippe J. Lhuillier delivers his welcome remarks to the more than 450 guests at the Philippine national day at Intercontinental in Madrid. (Madrid PE photo)

MADRID 11 July 2018 — Ambassador to Spain Philippe J. Lhuillier hosted a diplomatic reception at the Hotel InterContinental Madrid to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence and 16th Philippine-Spain Friendship Day on 12 June 2018.

Around 450 guests from the Spanish Government, the diplomatic corps, the business community, international organizations, the academe, and active leaders and members of Filipino Community organizations and the Filipino-Spanish Community attended the event.

In his speech in English and Spanish, Ambassador Lhuillier highlighted the sustained economic gains of the Philippines, and the increase in total trade between the Philippines and Spain that has been steadily rising at a robust pace of 246.68 percent, with a compounded annual growth rate of 16.81 percent. For the year 2017, total trade between both countries was up by 7.74 percent compared to the 2016 figure.

The Philippines will now aim to bridge the trade gap currently in favor of Spain, and elevate the level of trade exchange between the Philippines and Spain both in merchandise goods and in services.

Ambassador Lhuillier called for more active participation of Spanish companies in business missions that will explore investment opportunities in the Philippines such as infrastructure, manufacturing, Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing, digital technology, electronics, and even aerospace.

The Ambassador also announced the signing of the Air Transport Agreement, which was the first agreement signed under the new Spanish Minister for Public Works and Transport Jose Luis Abalos. The agreement is expected to cater to the growing number of travelers from both countries.

Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs Ildefonso Castro, representing the Spanish Government, remarked on the active and dynamic state of relations of both countries as evidenced by the holding of the Political Consultations in the last quarter of 2017, the provision by the Philippine Government of the new space for Instituto Cervantes in Manila, and the participation of ACCIONA and other Spanish infrastructure companies in the Philippines’ “Build, Build, Build” program.

Ambassador Lhuillier led the toast in wishing the good health of President Rodrigo Duterte, and King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain.

The reception featured young Filipino musical talents, and music artist Kitchie Nadal and Adrik Cristobal, to the delight of the audience.

Guests were treated to Filipino food, and liquor brands with connections to the Philippines such as Don Papa Rum, Fundador Brandy and their new range of liquors, beer from Mahou San Miguel, and wines and brandy from Williams and Humbert, a bodega recently acquired by Filipino businessman Lucio Co. END

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Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ildefonso Castro was guest of honor at the event. (Madrid PE photo)

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Around 450 guests attended the event. (Madrid PE photo)

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The Ambassador with the Consuls and the Philippine Honorary Consuls from all over Spain. (Madrid PE photo)