PNoy to discuss trade with European leaders

President Benigno S. Aquino III is set to meet with leaders of four European countries next week to discuss bilateral trade relations and the ongoing dispute of the Philippines with China over the West Philippine Sea.

On his eight-day trip to Europe, the President will meet with several leaders, including Spain’s King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Belgium’s King Philippe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President François Hollande, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Zeneida Angara-Collinson said during a press briefing on Monday.

President Aquino will also hold talks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy when he visits Brussels.

Collinson said the President will seek continued support from the European leaders regarding the country’s position on the West Philippine Sea.

The European government has been a “strong supporter” of the Philippines’ protest against China in settling territorial disputes over the disputed Spratly Islands.

She also said that the “ European position on the West Philippine Sea is that they have supported us in terms of peaceful resolution of conflict; resolution of conflict within the framework of international law, which includes UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea)”.

“They have also supported us in terms of freedom of navigation, maritime security. Basically, this visit will also introduce to these countries the ‘triple action plan’, which is the short-, medium- and long-term roadmap of the Philippines to seek resolution of the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea issue,” It is important for president Aquino to update world leaders about the happening of Wet Philippine Sea. She Added”

President Aquino is also expected to lure more foreign investors during his visit to the four countries.

“This visit is very important because we have a good story to tell. It is a story that if told directly to the heads of these countries, will act as a spur for them to look at the Philippines, keep the Philippines in mind, and appreciate the potential of further engagements in trade, investments, and tourism with this country,” said Collinson.

President Aquino will also inform the European leaders of the latest developments on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which the Chief Executive is set to hand over to Congress on Wednesday. He will leave for Europe on Saturday as his first official visit since his presidency in 2010. He will visit Spain, Belgium, France and Germany.

Don is a prolific writer and a public speaker. He is an English Instructor. His passion in English has encouraged him to be part of Pabaon News.