Secretary of Foreign Affairs Perfecto R. Yasay, Jr. signed the Philippines-Italy Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Establishment of a Bilateral Consultation Mechanism with Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano at the Foreign Ministry in Rome, Italy on January 18.

"The MOU on Bilateral Consultations will provide momentum to Philippine-Italian relations by providing a mechanism for its officials to regularly meet and discuss bilateral and global concerns," said Secretary Yasay.

"The issues that will be discussed during the bilateral consultations will be wide-ranging, encompassing political, economic and transnational, as well as people-to-people ties," he added.

Secretary Yasay and Foreign Minister Alfano also discussed how to strengthen Philippine-Italian relations as both countries will mark the 70th year of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations on July 2017.

"We would like to pursue more trade and investments cooperation with Italy. Philippine-Italian trade has been increasing through the years, but it still has not reached its full potential," said Secretary Yasay to Foreign Minister Alfano.

Secretary Yasay also thanked Italy for its development assistance in Mindanao. Italy has been providing support for the development of agrarian reform communities in Mindanao in the past years.

Foreign Minister Alfano also recognized the thriving Filipino community in Italy, citing that Filipino workers are hardworking, disciplined, and well-integrated. Secretary Yasay conveyed his gratitude for how the Italian government has welcomed and treated overseas Filipino workers.

"Our meeting today is a great start for 2017 and Philippine-Italian relations. I hope that this will provide impetus to our multifaceted relationship," said Secretary Yasay. END

Source: Republic of Philippines Department Of Foreign Affairs