MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino and Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani witnessed the signing of five agreements to enhance business relations between the Philippines and Qatar at Malacañang yesterday.
The Emir of Qatar arrived yesterday for a state visit.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said four government-to-government agreements were signed.
One was the memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation that would create favorable conditions for long-term cooperation in tourism for the mutual benefit of the Philippines and Qatar.
Another MOU was on cooperation in the legal field that would encourage the sharing of experiences and best practices in the performance of the mandates of each country’s ministry of justice.
The MOU on agricultural and fisheries cooperation establishes the general framework for cooperation in the fields of agriculture and fisheries for the purpose of fostering sectoral development and enhancing agri-related trade and investment.
Among the areas of cooperation are crops technology, vegetable and fruit preservation, biotechnology, post-harvest technology, livestock and fisheries, coastal and deep-sea fishing management, irrigation and water resources, and the halal industry.
The two leaders also held bilateral talks at the Palace and a state dinner was hosted for the Emir.
The Philippines will invite Qatar to participate in the country’s Public-Private Partnership projects, Lacierda said.
Qatar Airways to fly to Manila
Qatar Airways will operate 14 flights weekly between Manila and Doha.
Abdallah Okash, Qatar Airways Philippines country manager, corrected a STAR report last April 3 on the pullout of Qatar Airways of its thrice a week Cebu to Doha flights.
“We have 14 weekly flights between Manila and Doha, and not twice a week,” he said.
Quoting aviation industry sources, The STAR reported the Qatar Airways decision to discontinue the Cebu to Doha flights was made due to high costs of operating in the country.
The pullout of Qatar Airways of its Cebu-Doha flights came on the heels of the state visit of Sheik Hamad. – With Rainier Allan Ronda
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