Updated 02:32 AM EST, Sat, Mar 06, 2021

Mexico-Philippine Relations: Presidents Sign Agreements on Tourism, Taxation, & Combating Drug Trade

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Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Peña Nieto, have signed several agreements in Malacañang Palace on Tuesday, a day ahead of this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila.

The two presidents held a bilateral meeting before signing agreements regarding the prevention of double taxation, tourism cooperation, and collaboration in combating illegal drug trade, Inquirer.net reported.

"We have undersigned an agreement to avoid double taxation and, by this, enable trade and financial activities between our countries," said Peña Nieto during the leaders' joint press conference, as quoted by Inquirer.net. "In the area of terrorism, we will consolidate more cooperation in areas like R&D, education, training, and also in trade promotion and investment activities."

He continued, "In the area of security, we will exchange best practices and will share information to jointly fight the scourge of drug dealing."

Peña Nieto said that he and Aquino have agreed to "accelerate the conclusion of three important initiatives," Inquirer.net further reported. They agreed on air services, the promotion and protection of investments, and the creation of a joint economic committee. These agreements would eventually lead to the creation of "the Mexico and the Philippines Action Plan," which is aimed to strengthen the two nations' relations.

The Mexican president believes that these agreements will result to "new collaboration and exchange opportunities," Inquirer.net reported. He added, "The Philippines and Mexico are both stable, strong and dynamic nations with solid economies and a great potential for the future."

Aquino mentioned that investments between the Philippines and Mexico have soared because of the expansion of companies, such as CEMEX, FEMSA, and ICTSI. He urged Mexico to look upon "the prospects of growth that the world now sees" in the Philippines and to consider their "sister country as a gateway for trade and commerce to the rest of Southeast Asia," Inquirer.net reported.

Peña Nieto thanked the Filipino hospitality, as well as commended Aquino for his administration's implementation of a structural change agenda just like what Mexico in order to "face the global challenge of economic slowdown, of financial volatility, and risk aversion," the news outlet added.

Aquino also lauded Peña Nieto for Mexico's chairmanship of the Open Government Partnership, "an endeavor the Philippines is proud of, as both a founding partner and as an advocate for transparency and openness in governance through the use of new technologies that enable our respective citizens to better engage in the process of nation-building," ABS-CBN News reported.

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